It might walk like a duck and talk like a duck, but the Eagles new head coach refuses to call it a duck.
When Chip Kelly introduced his coaching staff yesterday, the biggest crowd flocked to defensive coordinator Billy Davis, who was asked the fairly basic question of whether he’d run a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense.
“I’m not caught up with labels,” Kelly said, via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Because I don’t think it’s going to be a ladies-and-gentlemen defense. I think it’s hopefully going to be a defense that creates a lot of turnovers and gets the ball back to our offense.”
And while it certainly appears to be leaning toward a three-man front, no one will say so.
Davis said he’s coached 3-4 defenses in 15 of his 21 NFL seasons, and Kelly hired a pair of linebackers coaches (inside and outside), which points it in a certain direction.
“I know it’s a vague answer,” Davis said. “Everybody wants to know: Is it 3-4 or is it 4-3? I wouldn’t be a very good coach if I just said it was 3-4. It’s who we have and what we can do with that.”
The more pressing question will be how the pieces fit.
The Eagles have some intriguing pass-rushers, but middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans was traded once by a team switching fronts, and how he handles the conversion will be an important part of what Davis hopes to do.