The Philadelphia Eagles defense faces a tall task on Monday Night in squaring off against the dynamic athlete that is quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The Eagles’ defense is in a heavy state of transition. he Eagles ran a wide-nine defense last season where defensive ends were lined up in a track stance, and their main responsibility was to get after the quarterback. This became a major problem as the season wore on. The run defense suffered, there was chaos in terms of communication between the secondary and line, and the whole thing was just an utter disaster under former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and disgruntled defensive line coach Jim Washburn.
The Eagles cleaned house after last season. This included both the coaching staff and personnel. Out is the 4-3 wide-nine defense, and in is a hybrid 3-4 scheme under Billy Davis. The unit still doesn’t know quite what it is yet as players are learning positions they are unaccustomed too. Their feet will be held to the fire right away as the schedule makers give the Eagles Griffin III, one of the most dynamic athletes in the league.
A key to this defense being successful will be how former defensive ends Brandon Graham and Trent Cole transition into being stand-up rush outside linebackers. If they struggle in coverage, the defense will get eaten up in the intermediate game. If at least one of them flourishes in both rushing and covering, it gives Davis and the defense more options to blitz and mix coverage to confuse offenses and quarterbacks.
We will find out Week 1 what this unit is all about. It is sink or swim time for this defense starting on Monday Night.