With the acquisition of two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, where does that leave Jamar Chaney who finished the 2011 season at that position?
Chaney opened the 2011 season as the starting strongside linebacker. After two games, Chaney was moved back to the middle where he started the final 14 games of the season. Chaney finished with 104 tackles, three interceptions and a sack. Chaney's three interceptions were the most by an Eagles linebacker since Willie T (William Thomas) also had three in 1996. Only two linebackers in the NFL had more interceptions than Chaney in 2011.
With Ryans in the middle, Chaney would have no problem going back to the strong side.
"It's not going to be tough. Of course, when you bring in a big-name guy like that, he's going to be put into the starting lineup regardless," Chaney said following a workout Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. "My job is to go out there and take care of what I can take care of - keep working out, keep doing what I do. I'll see where coach puts me at. Wherever coach puts me at, I'm going to compete. If he's No. 1, I guess I'll be No. 2 at that position. That's just my mindset. If they move me to the outside, we have a lot of talent there. I'm going to compete with those guys. May the best man win."
Following the season, Chaney underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. Chaney was confident that he'll be ready for the start of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in May. In fact, Chaney said that if they were to start this week he would be on the field.
"There's been no limitations," Chaney said. "I've been doing everything I would normally be doing in the offseason."
Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo wanted Chaney on the strong side last season because he thought that the linebacker would be able to play to his strengths on the outside. The 6-0, 242-pound Chaney is a tough, physical, downhill player. On the strong side, Chaney can attack and not worry as much about diagnosing the play. He would also only have to worry about one half of the field.
"You see guys like Lance Briggs who make a killing on the outside," Chaney said. "I consider myself a three-down linebacker, a linebacker who never comes off the field and who can play the run and the pass. No matter which spot it is, SAM (strong side), MIKE (middle) or WILL (weak side), as long as I'm out there, doing my job and helping my team win; that's all I really care about."
A seventh-round pick out of Mississippi State in 2010, Chaney started the final two regular season games at middle linebacker and registered a career-high 16 tackles in the Miracle at the New Meadowlands win over the Giants.
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