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Omar Gaither named Philadelphia Eagles starting middle linebacker

Just yesterday we called Omar Gaither the "leader in the clubhouse" for the starting middle linebacker job despite the fact that he's yet to play there in the preseason. A few hours later, the Eagles named Gaither the starting middle linebacker.

"I'm going home," Gaither said Sunday. "I feel like Dorothy. I didn't click my heels, but I got down on my knees and prayed a lot. I'm here to stay," he said. "I'm not coming out this time."

Gaither is referring to the fact that he was replaced as the starting middle linebacker by Stewart Bradley, then moved to the starting WILL job, only to be replaced by Akeem Jordan.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott talked about the move.

"It's a work in progress," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "There is competition at that position. We're just looking for consistency out of whoever is in the middle in order to execute the defense.

"I think any time you are an aggressive defense you have to be able to react to play-action pass. My biggest thing is that I want to see Omar come out and handle the reins of the defense in terms of the leadership, make the huddle call, get us lined up, quarterback the defense. Then, from a health standpoint, he has to have confidence in his leg."

Gaither has been slowed by a knee strain the past few weeks, but returned to practice yesterday and said his knee feels fine. Frankly, the Eagles should count themselves lucky that they had a sold veteran with plenty of starting experience to step in at the middle linebacker position. It's very much in contrast to the position they found themselves in in previous years with punt returner and fullback.

Thanks to Joe D in the fanposts