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Eagles banking on Rolle to strengthen weak side

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Posted Sept. 30, 2011 @ 1:12 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

The Eagles now have unfurled their third weak-side linebacker of the season in sixth-round rookie Brian Rolle. The team tried Moise Fokou there the first two games then turned to fourth-rounder Casey Matthews at the WLB spot. The reason for the switch was more that Matthews was struggling inside, although Fokou was far more natural on the strong side, where he finished last season and currently resides. But with Matthews being exposed there in Week Three, the team has turned to Rolle, who was far more competitive in a nickel role. Asked why he made the switch, defensive coordinator Juan Castillo didn't hesitate to pump up Rolle. "You know, I've seen his athletic ability," Castillo said, "he's an explosive player, and he makes plays." Despite his lack of height being an impediment, the one thing the 5-foot-10 Rolle doesn't lack is confidence. The rookie played in a lot of big games at Ohio State and at least has the temperament to handle the assignment. The Eagles don't think starting will be too big for him.

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