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Mays Welcomes Increased Role

While Andy Reid declined to discuss the severity of linebacker Stewart Bradley's knee injury, the man replacing him with the first-team defense discussed his role.

"This is something I've been waiting on for a year now. I'm eager to play. I'm hungry," Mays said following Monday's one and only practice. "There's going to be a lot of things thrown at me being the No. 1 middle linebacker."

A sixth-round selection in 2008, the hard-hitting Mays impressed last season with a solid preseason. He also got some reps in as the backup middle linebacker.

At this point, the 5-foot-11, 246-pound Mays appears to be the man in the middle.

"They just told me to come out here and play ball," Mays said. "We can't take a step backwards. We can only step forward from here, especially if we want to make it far into the playoffs and also to the Super Bowl."

Mays figures to be challenged by Omar Gaither, who started at middle linebacker for the entire 2007 season. He started all 16 games that year and posted team highs in tackles (170) and QB hurries (14).

Gaither, meanwhile, is battling to regain the starting weakside linebacker job he lost to Akeem Jordan midway through last season.

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 6:10 p.m., August 3

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