Every day we've dug a little deeper to find out some nuggets regarding the names you'll need to know when you cheer on this year's version of the Philadelphia Eagles. Today, we'll learn a little more about veteran linebacker Omar Gaither. A fifth-round pick in 2006, Gaither has been a starter on the weak side and in the middle for the Eagles during his career. He had a career-high 170 tackles for the Eagles in 2007 when he started in all 16 games. Last season, Gaither took over the middle linebacker position after Stewart Bradley's injury, but played in just five games before suffering a season-ending foot injury. The 6-2, 235-pound Gaither signed a one-year contract this past off-season as a restricted free agent.
1. Dislike might not be a strong enough word to describe Gaither's feelings towards his jersey number. Said Gaither, "I was given the number 96 as a rookie and I hated it. I still do. That's not even a linebacker number. I definitely feel that I was overlooked and it ticked me off. But I have chosen to keep it as a reminder of why I hate it."
2. One of the most vocal players on the field, Gaither said his gift of gab began in elementary school. "I used to get in trouble all the time in school for talking. I would finish my work very quickly and get good grades, but then I would spend the rest of the time in class talking." In 2007, Gaither was named the recipient of the Jack Edelstein Memorial Award, which is given to the Eagles player with an uplifting manner, a love for life and an exceptional sense of humor who makes all with whom he comes in contact feel good.
3. In addition to cleaning up on the football field, Gaither is a self-proclaimed clean freak. When his visits his parents' home in Charlotte, N.C. during the off-season, he still has to do chores around the house. Said Gaither, "They have me doing the same old things - cleaning, washing dishes, vacuuming. I enjoy it though. I like to keep a tight ship."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:15 p.m., July 6