Stephen Nicholas And His 2012 Fortunes

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17: Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles lines up under center Mike McGlynn #77 as Stephen Nicholas #54 of the Atlanta Falcons defends during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 17 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

We're going to start off today with a discussion post about a player that has gotten a little lost in the shuffle in recent months. I am, of course, referring to linebacker Stephen Nicholas.

Nicholas is a bit of an unusual case. He's a capable outside linebacker who does many things well and nothing spectacularly. He was overshadowed by Curtis Lofton and more recently Sean Weatherspoon, but he's signed for the long haul and is more or less guaranteed a starting job in 2012. Yet for all that, he's somewhat of the forgotten man of the linebacking corps, if not the defense.

I actually expect this to change in 2012. No one's going to confuse Nicholas with a pass-rushing specialist, but he's got enough chops to make things interesting, as evinced by his 2009 three-sack campaign. He's also solid enough in coverage, a technically sound tackler and a guy with pretty good athleticism. Mike Nolan should like that combination of skills and natural ability, and I expect Nicholas to have a nice year in 2012.

But it's not a discussion post without your input. What are your expectations for Nicholas?

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