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Training Camp Update: Linebacker

Number On 53-Man Roster In 2008 Season Opener: 6

What We've Learned So Far: Chris Gocong is the only clear starter at linebacker because of the injury to middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Second-year man Joe Mays and former Charger Matt Wilhelm appear to be fighting for the starting middle linebacker position. Mays has been stout against the run and Omar Gaither has been effective as one of the first-team nickel linebackers.

Wilhelm came to camp with fresh legs and NFL starting experience as he tries to adjust to a 4-3 defense. Charleston Hughes has made some plays at middle linebacker after coming to the Eagles from the CFL, where he played defensive end.

Gaither is also fighting for a starting job as weakside linebacker, going up against the incumbent Akeem Jordan. Moise Fokou has come on very strong as camp has progressed. The seventh-round draft pick has appeared to be a punishing hitter, and has made plays in the secondary. Veterans Tracy White and Tank Daniels - who also has lined up as a defensive end at times - are capable backup linebackers, but bring most of their value on special teams.

Questions Remaining: Is Joe Mays ready to start in the NFL after seeing very little action in his only year in the league? Who is the right man for the job at weakside linebacker? Can Matt Wilhelm go from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 and make an impact?

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 11:57 p.m., August 10

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