Eagles linebacker Omar Gaither made an immediate impression in Philadelphia as a rookie, showing good
coverage skills, consistency, and a great instincts on both defense and special
teams. But he's more proud of the fact that he's been recognized as a very smart
player by his coaches even though he's only entering the second season of his
"That means more to me than anything else," Gaither stated during a
recent Scout Radio interview. "Just the fact that they know they can throw
as much at me as they want and I can pick it up for the game, and that they know
they can depend on me, that means a lot."
The versatile player not only got seven starts during his rookie season, he
was put in a wide variety of situations including the Eagles nickel and dime
packages, and their goal-line defense while also finishing his rookie campaign as a
special teams standout. Gaither made sure he was ready for whatever the team
asked of him, drawing on something he learned about the NFL very quickly.
"People come and go in this league all the time, so when you get an
opportunity, you have to take advantage of it," he said. "Every year
they're drafting guys and bringing guys in who they eventually want to take your
place if they're better. So I want to stay on top of the list."
A fifth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Tennessee, the rookie took
advantage of his special teams opportunities right away to make sure he got
noticed. By the end of the season, he had posted the second-highest number of
special teams tackles.
"Special teams is a lot of instincts," he explained. "There's
some reading of plays involved, but you mainly go out and make plays in space,
and I've always been pretty good at that. So special teams is naturally a good
fit for me."
Scout.com subscribers can listen to a 6-minute clip of Omar Gaither's Scout
Radio interview where he talks about his favorite moments from his rookie
season, why he's so successful on special teams, where he sees himself fitting
into the linebacker corps, his thoughts on Jeremiah Trotter and Takeo Spikes and
the Eagles run defense for 2007. Just click this link: Listen to Audio
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|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.