Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/29/12

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 11: Akeem Jordan #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs on the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field on October 11, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Earlier this week the Philadelphia Eagles named Akeem Jordan the starting "Will" or weakside linebacker.  Jordan had not been getting much attention from the media throughout the position battle, but he must have gotten the attention of the coaching staff.  Akeem was in competition with Brian Rolle for the position.  Brian Rolle is a second year linebacker out of Ohio State and started 13 games for the birds last season.  For Akeem to overtake the incumbent Rolle, the coaches must of felt a need for experience.  

Akeem Jordan has started for the Eagles off and on during his six NFL seasons.  Jordan was an undrafted free agent out of James Madison, so Jordan has always had to work for his position.  This year was no different.  Although he was not getting much "hype" in the media, Jordan knew that if he worked hard the coaches would respond with increased reps.  Jordan made big hit after big hit in training camp and his familiarity with the defense was evident.  Demeco Ryans, the starting middle linebacker, is playing his first season with the Eagles.  Mychal Kendricks, the starting strongside linebacker, is a first round draft pick from Cal.  Neither of these two have played in a regular season game for the Eagles.  Jordan brings a sense of steadiness to the linebacker corps.  Kendricks will provide the athleticism for the group, Ryans will hopefully be the tackling machine he was in Houston, and Jordan will be the glue guy for the group.  Akeem has the respect of his teammates and his NFL experience will greatly benefit the defense.  

Brian Rolle may be slightly more athletic than Jordan and have a brighter upside.  A source inside the locker room stated that he believed Rolle to be the best linebacker on the defense.  Despite all of this defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has chose to start Akeem Jordan.  This really speaks to the hard work mentality that Jordan has.  His willingness to the do the dirty work and play disciplined is exactly what this defense is missing.  Jordan better play well though, because the coaching staff will not hesitate to bench him as the expectations for this season could not be higher.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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