Chaney promoted to first team nickel

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Jamar Chaney works during practice at Lehigh. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- It was a minor promotion, but Jamar Chaney is hoping that it's one step on his way back to starting.

The Eagles unveiled a different look during this morning's walkthrough — Chaney was lined up with the first team nickel defense at linebacker along with DeMeco Ryans. The alignment had been Ryans and Brian Rolle in the nickel through the early portion of camp.

But Chaney is back with the first team, if not completely.

"I hope that's because I've been playing good and they've seen something on film," Chaney said. "We'll see how it goes. I'm happy they moved me forward but I ain't satisfied." 

Last season Chaney was the only linebacker to start in all 16 games. He opened the season at strong-side, but was moved back into the middle when Casey Matthews couldn't get the job done. Chaney was the only linebacker to play all three downs through most of the year, but he eventually was taken out on passing downs.

It's no secret that the Eagles' linebacking corp struggled last season. The Eagles addressed the problem during the offseason by trading for DeMeco Ryans and drafting Mychal Kendricks in the second round.

When the Eagles acquired Ryans from the Texans they immediately named him the starting middle linebacker and said that Jamar Chaney would move back to to strong-side. However, when Kendricks was drafted he was soon after named the starter at strong-side and Chaney was demoted.

"I kind of motivated me a little bit but I don't think it's a chip on my shoulder," said Chaney, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. "I think there's a chip on my shoulder because I want to be the best personally. It's hard when you were on top and you started those games and was out there on every play and to come back at training camp on second team. But it didn't discourage me."

Chaney was moved to weak-side linebacker behind Rolle and that's how the alignment remains -- Rolle, Ryans and Kendricks as the starters in the base D. But Chaney has impressed early in camp, and Rolle has struggled some in pass coverage, so the move was made before this morning's walkthrough and should be put into action at this afternoon's practice.

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