For some of the rookies participating in this week's Organized Team Activites, the difficult transition from college football to the NFL is made even tougher when they're asked to change positions. Ricky Sapp has been thrown into the mix at strongside linebacker after a collegiate career playing mostly defensive end, Devin Ross spent most of his day at safety after playing cornerback most of his college career, and linebackers Keenan Clayton and Jamar Chaney are being worked at several positions.
Chaney, 6-0, 242 pounds, spent day one of the OTAs as the only weakside linebacker, after spending his last two seasons at Mississippi State playing middle linebacker. It's a smoother transition for Chaney though because he played some weakside early in his college career, and he certainly welcomed the bevy of reps he got.
"The more reps you get, the more it's going to help you out, especially us rookies," he said. "I mean, you're trying to get everything down pat so when you get to training camp you won't be thinking out there.
"I was out there the whole time. I need it. I mean the more reps I can get, I'm not complaining."
Chaney said that he also expects to get some reps in the middle over the next week and a half and that he's enjoying the atmosphere of this week's camp.
"I think it's kind of better when you have a lot of rookies out here because then you really know who knows their stuff because you don't have any veterans out there checking things and telling the rookies what to do," he said. "I mean, you're out there and you're trying to see who actually knows their stuff, who's actually in the playbook and who's in the film room."
And for Chaney, adjusting to a new system is nothing new. During his tenure Mississippi State, he had three different defensive coordinators and four different position coaches.
"Everything they're having me do, I pretty much did at some point in my college career," he said. "I think I have a pretty good grasp of it. When it gets to on the field and people are moving, you get kind of timid to say something but after getting all those reps today, it just keeps getting better and better. I'm just going to soak it all up this week before the vets come back so I can get somewhat on their level."
Chaney said the toughest thing to adjust to so far has been changing up the defense when offense motions into a different formation. But he expects that will become more natural with practice and film study. In terms of the big picture, he knows that he'll have to battle to make the team and he's willing to do whatever it takes.
"I want to compete, come out here and compete on special teams, compete for playing time on defense and special teams," he said. "Just maximize every opportunity I get on the field and make the 53-man roster and contribute and help the Eagles be the best team in the NFC."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 8:05 a.m., May 20