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Mikell To Wear Headset In Helmet Sunday

The addition of Jeremiah Trotter provides the Eagles with a 260-pound hammer to use against opposing rushing attacks. However, it has created a small conundrum for the team.

Last year, the NFL passed a rule that allows one defensive player to wear a helmet with a speaker system in it to get the play call from the sideline and relay it to his teammates. Stewart Bradley wore the live helmet last season. Bradley played all three downs and the MIKE linebacker had received the plays from the sideline in the past. Omar Gaither wore it in the first three games this season because he played on all three downs.

With Trotter now expected to be utilized on run downs and Gaither on pass downs, who will now wear the speaker in the helmet? Chris Gocong explained on Friday's Eagles Live! that strong safety Quintin Mikell will wear the helmet.

"We need a guy who is always on the field. We can't have Trot go on (the field) and Omar has (the live helmet) on," Gocong said. "We're having the strong safety do it which is going to be interesting because Q doesn't call the huddle, but he's going to get the play in his helmet. So, I'm not really sure how they're going to do it. Q's got to run up to the front of the huddle, give the call to the MIKE, MIKE's got to relay it to everybody else then he has to go line up."

Gocong said that they worked on the new system in practice and it "went well." However, Gocong added that there are things "you can't plan for."

In addition to the new line of communication in the huddle, the Eagles will potentially have to shift from one set of linebackers on one play to a new one on the very next. In the base 4-3 on run downs, the Eagles could line up Gocong on the strong side, Trotter in the middle and Akeem Jordan on the weak side. If the Eagles go into the nickel package for passing downs, the three linebackers would be replaced by linebackers Gaither and Tracy White, along with cornerback Joselio Hanson.

"I don't think it's going to be too big of an issue. We do that anyways with Buffalo and nickel and some of out other personnel. You've seen some of the personnel where we have (defensive ends) Trent (Cole) and J.P. (Juqua Parker) come up the middle," Gocong said. "We put in packages that we sub a lot and we practice it so much that it's kind of second nature.

"I really thing the biggest thing with it is going to be the headphones for Q."

There is a backup helmet with a receiver that is kept in a trunk on the sideline should the communication system in the original one malfunctions or the player wearing the headset is injured. Two players can not be on the field or the sideline with the live helmet at the same time.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:53 a.m., October 10

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