It's not often that a seventh-round draft choice makes an immediate impact in the NFL. In fact, often times those players don't even make the team. But rookie linebacker Jamar Chaney has worked hard every day since the 2010 draft, and found his way on to the Eagles active roster.
In his first taste of NFL action, Chaney played on special teams against Detroit. And while he didn't make a tackle that afternoon, he did make an impact on the coaching staff. The following week in Jacksonville, Chaney was pinned to back up Stewart Bradley at middle linebacker, and registered his first two NFL tackles for his efforts. Chaney said that no matter what his role is, he tries to make the best of his opportunity.
"Basically, I just go out there and try to put something good on film for the coaches to see," Chaney said. "If it's on special teams, defense, or whatever it is, when you go out there you just want to make sure you're taking advantage of your opportunities."
In his short NFL career, Chaney has done just that. He worked throughout the offseason to catch the eye of linebackers coach Bill Shuey and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Now, three weeks into the season, McDermott says Chaney has gained the trust of the coaching staff.
"As far as Jamar, obviously our trust level is enough that we dressed him to be the backup middle backer last week," McDermott said. ""Each week will be different, but just like Nate (Allen), (Chaney is) a very mature individual, almost beyond his years at this point, in terms of his NFL experience and continues to work his tail off, off the field to prepare himself in the event that he had to go in."
But it's not only McDermott that has taken notice of the seventh-round pick from Mississippi State. Head coach Andy Reid thinks Chaney has done a solid job in whatever role he's been asked to do.
"Chaney just had a chance to get on (the field) the week before on special teams and did a nice job with it," Reid said. ""And he's been picking up the defense, but his special teams play was pretty good the week before (in Detroit) and it ended up being good this week."
As a young player in the NFL, special teams are usually the key to success. And while Chaney has seen some action on defense, he knows his main responsibility lies with Bobby April's special teams.
Chaney made one of eight total special teams tackles last week in Jacksonville, and found himself around the ball all afternoon. The rookie linebacker says that playing special teams is more instinctive than anything else.
"On special teams, you don't really have to think, you just go," Chaney said. "I mean, you just go full speed down there and make plays. That's basically what I try to do. I'm fast, but I'm also powerful so I'm just running down there and if anyone gets in my way, I'm just trying to run through them."
Chaney certainly expects to be playing this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, and hopes to make an impact in whatever way he can.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 8:00 a.m., October 2