Omar Gaither begat Jeremiah Trotter, who begat Will Witherspoon, who begat Chris Gocong, who begat Trotter again, who begat Joe Mays, who begat Trotter yet again, who begat Akeem Jordan, who begat Trotter once again, who begat Jordan, who begat Trotter.
And thats 2009.
Which brings us to DeMeco Ryans, who better not begat anybody for the next few years because for the first time since Trotters last Pro Bowl season -- and now were going all the way back to 2005 -- the Eagles have a middle linebacker.
A real, live, Pro Bowl middle linebacker.
We have used a few, Andy Reid conceded Wednesday.
Theyve done a good job with receivers, and theyve always had Pro Bowl running backs, and cornerback has usually been pretty well stocked. Quarterback, defensive end and tight end generally havent been an issue.
But linebacker? In particular middle linebacker? A disaster area.
Reid has drafted linebackers high -- Barry Gardner, Quinton Caver and Matt McCoy in the second round. Hes signed big-money free agents -- Takeo Spikes, Nate Wayne, Dhani Jones. And hes even traded for guys -- Witherspoon and Ernie Sims.
Its not correct to say the Eagles have never valued linebackers. They wouldnt have made all those moves if they didnt.
They just havent valued the right guys.
Reid has started 47 different linebacker combinations since he got here in 1999. Starting with James Darling, William Thomas and Trotter in his first game and moving on to Brian Rolle, Jamar Chaney and Akeem Jordan in his last game.
Some 28 different guys have started at least one game at linebacker since 1999, and most of the 28 either wound up getting benched, getting released or getting thrown on the free agency scrap heap for other teams to sign.
The Eagles havent acquired a linebacker whos gone on to make a Pro Bowl as an Eagle in 14 years. Since Ray Rhodes drafted Trotter. (Yes, the same Ray Rhodes who was on the Texans defensive staff when Ryans went to his two Pro Bowls.)
Lets face it. The position has been a black hole for the Eagles.
And now, with one move, theres hope.
If you heard the fans roaring for Ryans at the 76ers game Wednesday night, you got a taste of just how desperate this city is for a big-time linebacker.
It didnt take Ryans long to realize it. He hadnt been in Philly for 10 hours before he realized just how much weve all been waiting for the Eagles to bring in somebody like him.
I can sense that everyone has been looking for that middle linebacker, and Im happy to be the guy, Ryans said Wednesday, his first day in Philly.
This is probably the first move the Eagles have made thats created this kind of euphoria since the T.O. trade after the 2003 season. And that was eight years ago.
But is does similarly fill a need that was just as dire, just as desperate.
With one move, the Eagles have turned their back on a sickening 2011 season and given everybody some hope. Something to believe in. If Ryans is indeed healthy and can play like he did during his Pro Bowl years in Houston, this is now a significantly better defense than it was last year.
Remember, the Eagles went to a Super Bowl with Trotter in the middle and Keith Adams, Mark Simoneau and Jones outside. Thats how much of an impact a forceful middle linebacker can make.
Ryans will make Jamar Chaney and Brian Rolle -- or whoever winds up starting outside -- better players. And both are already young, capable outside backers. A sound linebacking corps will make the whole defense better. If Nnamdi Asomugha can get back to form ... if Jason Babin and Trent Cole can both have double-digit sack seasons again ... if Nate Allen can play the way he played before he got hurt ...
A lot of ifs. But at least the Eagles have finally addressed the one position thats driven all of us insane for a decade.
Well never forget Joe Jurevicius galloping away from Levon Kirkland. Well never forget DeShaun Foster trampling Simoneau. Well never forget Marshawn Lynch emerging from a pile of disinterested Eagles tacklers in Seattle last December and scoring from 15 yards out.
Those nightmarish plays are etched into our collective memories. And for nearly a decade, thats what middle linebacker has meant to Eagles fans. Disappointment. Failure.
Now, with one trade with the Texans, thats all changed. Ryans laughed when asked Wednesday if hes the Eagles saviour. But really, thats what he is. Thats what he has to be.