Monday, January 28, 2013
Update on the Eagles' DC search
By Tim Kavanagh
On Sunday, we passed along some rumors regarding candidates for the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive coordinator vacancy. As it turns out, one of rumors could be coming to fruition.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Cleveland Browns LB coach Billy Davis interviewed for the position on Sunday. Davis has previously served as DC of the 49ers and Cardinals. Davis has worked in both a 3-4 and 4-3 system during his career, so his hire wouldn't necessarily mean that the Eagles were leaning one direction or the other on that front. However, there does seem to be a trend forming that most of the candidates Chip Kelly and his associates are considering do have some experience in the 3-4 alignment.
Current 49ers assistant Ed Donatell is considered by some to be the front-runner for the position, but he won't be available until after the Super Bowl. It's possible the Eagles make a move prior to then.
ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano believes that the interest in all the 3-4 potential DCs is an indicator of Kelly's vision for the Eagles:
Dan GrazianoHe's got a long-term plan in mind
"Personally, I believe a switch to a 3-4 defense would indicate that Kelly views his task as a relatively long-term build. The Eagles have a very good 4-3 defensive line, and while some players (such as Fletcher Cox, who would make a nice 3-4 end) likely could make the transition easily, it's hard to see how the switch would play to the strengths of anyone currently on the Eagles' defense. Switching to a 3-4 takes a couple of years, as recent examples in Washington and Green Bay have shown, and the first season would be spent figuring out which current players could handle it and which would have to go. Can Trent Cole and Brandon Graham become stand-up outside linebackers? Would the Eagles have no more room for middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, as the Texans did when they switched to a 3-4? Those are some of the questions, and if Kelly installs a 3-4 under any coordinator, the Eagles and their fans will need to be patient with him while it takes effect. The Eagles likely would struggle with the transition in 2013, and unless they find a better solution at quarterback than they currently appear to have available to them, they can't count on the offense to simply outscore people. Rebuilding doesn't have to take long in the NFL, but it appears as though some sort of rebuild is what you can expect to take place in the early part of Kelly's tenure in Philadelphia."