Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rolle, Allen to start

Changes have arrived on defense.

Rolle, Allen to start

Brian Rolle has replace Casey Matthews at weakside linebacker for Sunday. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)
Brian Rolle has replace Casey Matthews at weakside linebacker for Sunday. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)

Changes have arrived on defense.

Brian Rolle said he has been elevated to first team weak side linebacker and Nate Allen will be starting at safety in place of Kurt Coleman. Linebacker and safety have been glaring weaknesses early in the season.

Rolle, a sixth round pick, has looked more instinctive and aggressive than Casey Matthews, the fourth round selection he'll replace in the starting line up. He is short, however, generously five-foot-10.

Rolle said he will continue to play in some nickel packages as well. Coming in as a sixth round pick who began with limited playing time, Rolle said his goal was to make sure that when he did get on the field, his name was called out.

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"Every time you see me on the field you hear my name," Rolle said he told his father this week. "My coaches must have seen that light and felt that I need to be on the field more."

Rolle, a speedy but short linebacker, said he believes he is actually better against the run than he is against the pass. But he said he hopes he gets a chance to take on tight end Vernon Davis this weekend.

"It’s going to be a lot of fun get out there, play in space and hopefully get matched up with Vernon Davis," Rolle said. "Everybody has their weakness. You can be fast, but being fast isn’t everything, it’s all about technique in this league as well."

Rolle has worked at weakside linbacker since training camp, unlike Matthews, who was in the middle until last Wednesday, and showed Sunday he still has learning to do.

Rolle said he wasn't concerned about being a sixth round pick or starting low on the Eagles depth chart.

"I just thought about working hard and letting that pay off and it has," he said.

Allen replaced Coleman Sunday after Coleman missed a tackle, leading to a 74-yard touchdown. He entered training camp as a starter, but was hampered in his recovery from a torn patellar tendon and lost his job to Jarrad Page.

More soon.

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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