Philadelphia Eagles News

Gaither To See Practice Reps At First-Team MLB

Omar Gaither was the starting middle linebacker in 2007. It was assumed that when Stewart Bradley tore his ACL on August 2 that Gaither would slide back into the lineup, especially since he wasn't a starter at either of the other two linebacker positions.

However, the coaches gave Joe Mays the chance to work with the first-team defense and he's started all three preseason games. Rookie seventh-round draft pick Moise Fokou saw some reps with the first-team at middle linebacker last Thursday against Jacksonville. Now, Gaither will get a chance to work back in. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott made the announcement Sunday that Gaither will work in the base 4-3 as the first-team middle linebacker this week in practice.

"I want to see Omar come out and handle the reins of the defense in terms of the leadership, make the huddle call, get us lined up, quarterback the defense and then from a health standpoint that he has confidence in his leg," McDermott said.

Gaither suffered a knee sprain in practice and has missed the last two preseason games. Even though Gaither was productive as the middle linebacker in 2007, he knows full well that jobs are earned.

"You would think that I would be the guy that would go in there right away," Gaither said. "Joe played well last year and they felt like he could go in there and do some things. You always have to earn stuff around here. It's been that way since I got here. It's nothing new for me."

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:47 p.m., August 30

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