Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

LB breakdown: Gocong out, Jordan's role

Like last week, I wanted to take a detailed look at how Sean McDermott shuffled his linebackers in and out of the game against the 49ers.

LB breakdown: Gocong out, Jordan's role

Eagles linebacker Tracy White (52) had an interception Sunday against the 49ers.
Eagles linebacker Tracy White (52) had an interception Sunday against the 49ers.

Like last week, I wanted to take a detailed look at how Sean McDermott shuffled his linebackers in and out of the game against the 49ers.

Against the Giants, five different Eagles linebackers saw playing time. Four of those players remained the same against the Niners. But instead of Chris Gocong manning the strong-side in the base package, it was Moise Fokou.

Here's the breakdown in terms of number of plays:

Will Witherspoon - 58
Akeem Jordan - 26
Moise Fokou - 12
Jeremiah Trotter - 12
Tracy White - 12

Gocong was not on the field for a single snap. Witherspoon, on the other hand, was on the field for every one.

Jordan continued to get eased back into the defense. He played 16 snaps against the Giants in his first action back from injury after a four-game absence. That increased to 26 here.

The Eagles' most popular linebacker combination was Witherspoon and Jordan (26 plays). The Birds were in their base package with Trotter, Fokou and Witherspoon for 12 plays.

Here's a breakdown of the number of plays for each of the four combinations:

Witherspoon and Jordan - 26
Fokou, Trotter and Witherspoon - 12
White and Witherspoon - 12
Witherspoon - 8

Against the Giants, McDermott used six different packages. One featured Jordan in the middle. That didn't happen this week.

Witherspoon was the lone linebacker on the field for eight plays, where Dimitri Patterson entered the game as a sixth defensive back, often times charged with covering tight end Vernon Davis.

The Eagles went with two linebackers on 38 plays, three linebackers on 12 plays and one linebacker on eight plays.

Each week brings a new set of questions.

Will Gocong get back into the rotation? How far away is Jordan from returning to his pre-injury form? Can Trotter continue to improve each week?

We'll see which direction McDermott goes this week and break down the rotation again after the Broncos game.

In case you missed it, we did Man Up on the defense yesterday.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

Follow Sheil on Twitter. And become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for even more Birds coverage, including app-exclusive videos and analysis. Download it here.

Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected