Linebacker Jamar Chaney must have broken a mirror. Or walked under a ladder. Or had a black cat cross in front of him.
Something must have sparked the string of bad luck that began for him before he ever stepped on the campus of Mississippi State University. Initially, Chaney had hoped to go to Georgia with his close friend Jeff Owens. But Chaney was denied admission to Georgia after his SAT score was flagged despite already having the grades needed in order to play.
The problem is that Georgia pulled the offer after signing day and most schools had used up their allotment of scholarships.
Chaney still wanted to play in the ultra-competitive SEC and chose Mississippi State. Once there, it seemed like no one else wanted to stay.
"It's good that I experienced that in college, going through three defensive coordinators and four linebacker coaches. I was exposed to a lot of schemes," Chaney said. "That in itself was a blessing. I'm used to change."
After earning second-team All-SEC honors in 2007 after he racked up 89 tackles as the Bulldogs' starting middle linebacker, he suffered a season-ending leg injury in the 2008 season opener. He received a medical redshirt and bounced back with 90 tackles, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 2009, which was good enough to earn second-team All-SEC honors once again.
The 6-0, 242-pound Chaney was selected in the seventh round by the Eagles in the 2010 NFL Draft. The Eagles actually traded back into the early part of the seventh round by sending a sixth-round pick in 2011 to the Lions. Later in that seventh round, Chaney and Owens were reunited as the Eagles used one of their compensatory picks to select the strong defensive tackle.
After playing on the weak side and in the middle at Mississippi State, the Eagles have utilized him at both outside linebacker spots thus far. And despite the success he had in college, Chaney knows that the hard work has really just begun.
"I just always have the mindset that I'm going to outwork everybody," Chaney said. "If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. I'm going to let it be known that I'm going to give everything I've got."
Along the way, Chaney wouldn't mind handing out what they call back in Florida where he grew up "woo" hits. When you see it, you just say ""woo."" See below for an example of one that Chaney dished out in college. Of course, we'll have to wait until we see Chaney in Lehigh for training camp.
"I like those types of hits. The fans like those types of hits, especially from a linebacker," Chaney said. "They like to see a defensive player try and take out everybody from the offense."
To end up in Philadelphia where the fans believe that, maybe Chaney truly had the best luck of all. He just had to persevere through the rough spots to get there.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:35 p.m., May 26