Eagles Do the Linebacker Shuffle

Changes are coming to the Eagles linebacking corps and it looks like Casey Matthews isn't stuck in the middle after all.

Unlike the offensive line shuffle that happened right before the season that saw rookie Danny Watkins taken out of the starting lineup, in this case the rookie Matthews remains a starter but moves locations.

Matthews, the Eagles fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, moves to the weak-side while third-year pro Moises Fokou moves from the weak-side to the strong-side and former strong-sider second-year pro Jamar Chaney moves back to the middle, according to the Inquirer’s Bird’s Eye View blog.

The move puts each player into a more comfortable position. Chaney played at middle linebacker often last season filling in for the now departed Stewart Bradley while Bradley dealt with injuries. Matthews played mostly on the outside in college at Oregon. And Fokou spent plenty of time on the strong-side the last two seasons.

ProFootballTalk spoke about the philosophy of moving the parts rather than bringing in another player:

And so the Eagles are doing on defense what they previously did on offense.  They’re addressing a weakness by moving around the parts of the puzzle.  They did it with the offensive line, and they’re doing it with the defense.

Whether it works remains to be seen.

It also remains to be seen if the Eagles continue to struggle against the run and tight end coverage if the team finds another linebacker from outside the organization.

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