August 12, 2007

Coaches eager to see Gocong

The tether connecting Philadelphia Eagles strongside linebacker Chris Gocong to defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and linebackers coach Sean McDermott will be severed Monday night at Baltimore, and Johnson is eager to see the results.

So are a lot of other people, because the 6-2, 263-pound Gocong is the player whose selection with the 71st pick of the 2006 draft created a stir for several reasons, including:

He played at Division I-AA Cal-Poly, where football is, at best, an afterthought.

The Eagles traded up five places to make sure they got him.

The Eagles almost immediately disclosed plans to convert him from defensive end to linebacker.

Gocong's debut as a linebacker was delayed a year because he was placed on injured reserve after suffering a neck stringer early in last year's training camp.

And the Eagles made yet another curious move along the way: They released the starting strongside linebacker of the previous three seasons, Dhani Jones, and installed Gocong as the No. 1 linebacker before even seeing him against live competition.
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