By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The linebacker position was the most glaring hole on the 2011 Eagles. After adding DeMeco Ryans in the offseason, the team is hoping to turn that weakness into a strength. The linebackers themselves think they’re well on their way.

“The transition went really well. Learning the defense first and foremost, learning what I’m supposed to do, and then being able to help the other guys around me,” Ryans told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on Tuesday. “Learning the defense well enough to know what everybody is supposed to do, that’s where I like to be.”

Akeem Jordan will now line up with Ryans as a starter, at least until Jamar Chaney returns from an injury. “I feel good with Akeem being in there,” Ryans said. Akeem is a veteran player. I think Akeem has probably started at each position. So I know, he knows, what to do. He knows how to play, he communicates. Akeem is going to step in a do a really good job for us. We have a luxury here at LB, where everyone can step in and play.”

Jordan said that the failure at linebacker in recent years isn’t from a lack of effort. “”It’s a challenge. If people say you can’t do it, it’s just a challenge to try to prove people wrong,” Jordan said.  “Since I’ve been here, the key focus has been on the linebackers. So, it’s been a challenge every year, mix and matching people, new people coming in. We’re just trying to build something in our room first, like leadership, like they brought DeMeco in for leadership, and then take over.”

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