Coming into the season we know we had the answer to the MLB position with Stewart Bradley. When he went down for the year, everyone kind of scratched their head and said “now what?” We tried two young options in Joe Mays and Moise Fokou but neither worked. Omar Gaither tried to fill the void at the position but failed again. Jeremiah Trotter was brought back to the team but has clearly shown he is past his prime and isn’t the solution. So now the team has made a trade, giving away a talented prospect, in hopes that Will Witherspoon can be a solid substitute in the middle.
He doesn’t have tremendous size for a MLB, at 6’1 and 239 pounds, but he is a pure tackler and a very talented player. Throughout his career, he has had his share of 100 tackle seasons and has also shown an ability to defend the pass. We’re all aware of our problems of covering tight ends and saw Trotter not be able to run down a running back on a short pass where a stop could have given us the chance to win the game. Coming to Philadelphia, I’m sure he is aware of our struggles and knows what we are asking from him. The whole city will have their eyes on him when he takes the field on Monday.
I think the guy can definitely help this team out in an area they’ve struggled in so far this year. Witherspoon isn’t going to be a Pro-Bowl middle linebacker, but I believe he has the skill set to be solid enough where he can play to a level that will make us believe the Eagles made the right move. Acquiring him also adds depth to the linebacking corps for next year when he is moved out of the middle. Akeem Jordan has played pretty well at the WILL position but may be replaced by Witherspoon when Bradley is healthy. This is nothing too big for Jordan to worry about as he is still a young player and can learn a lot from Witherspoon. However, my focus right now is this guy filling in the middle and making plays. I’m not sure how much he will be asked to play on Monday, but the advantage of bringing a guy like him in over Trotter is you know that he’s in game shape and not passed his prime.
The Redskins are a team that should be manageable to beat, but we thought the same thing about the Raiders. I hope Witherspoon makes a big play or two on Monday and takes a little tension off our shoulders.