Philadelphia Eagles News

Versatility Key In Constructing 'D'

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are questions about what to label new coordinator Bill Davis' defense, but coaches have said that versatility will be important. As the coaches construct the scheme, the current personnel is important to keep in mind.

"I really think it's going to be an evolving thing," head coach Chip Kelly said. "It's personnel driven. You can say, 'Hey, we want to be a team that blitzes all of the time and plays man all of the time,' but can your secondary hold up all of the time to do that?"

General manager Howie Roseman said that in the past few drafts the Eagles have stressed versatility. That is why no matter what the Eagles run schematically they already have some key pieces in place. Here is a look at some of the Eagles players who were highlighted on Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Roseman on Fletcher Cox: "He's got incredible versatility. He can really play in any scheme. He can play in a 4-3. He can play in a 3-4. He can do any spot in those alignments.

"He's got an incredible skill set and he does all of those things well. I think you're looking for a big jump from him from year one to year two, a young guy, a 21-year-old."

Roseman on Antonio Dixon: "I don't think there's any question about it (that he's a nose tackle). That's his skill set. He's a big body. He has good use of his hands. He's a run-stopper. He's what you look for if you're looking for a 4-3, 3-4 nose tackle."

Roseman on Brandon Graham: "I think when he came out there was a lot of discussion about him being an outside linebacker and him being able to play on his feet. I think he can do that. He can rush the passer. He can hold the edge. He can play in space. I think that's a transition Brandon can do. Wherever we go, I think Brandon is going to be a piece of that."

Roseman on Trent Cole: "Trent's the same way (as Graham). You look at outside linebackers, Trent has the skill set that a lot of those guys have."

Kelly on DeMeco Ryans: "A physical player, obviously the leader of the defense in terms of getting guys lined up. Plays the game the way you want it to be played. From listening to other people in the building, there's a quality about him that you want to be around him."

Roseman on the safety position: "It's hard to find safeties in this league. It's hard to find them in college football. It's hard to find them in the NFL. Even the good ones, you can find weaknesses in them."

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