Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham hasn’t necessarily been told he’s playing outside linebacker, but he’s certainly preparing that way.
Graham said, via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that he hadn’t been told what position he’d play in the Eagles’ new 3-4 system.
But it’s easy to see where he’s leaning. He’s working to get from 270 pound down to 260, and he’s been working with Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley on his technique.
“There’s been a lot of talk about a lot of things,” Graham said. “I don’t know where they want to put me at. All I know is wherever they put me, I’ll go full out. . . .
“I’m hoping everything carries over with the adjustments I have to make. But at the same time, rushing the passer is rushing the passer. That’s a strength of mine, and I just need to get it a lot better to get it where we need to go.”
Graham began his college career as a linebacker before growing out of it, and a change is just another in a long line, as he’s had to adjust to different schemes and deal with injuries throughout his career. He’s also not the kind of long-limbed defender new coach Chip Kelly prefers, adding another obstacle to his transition.
“I haven’t had a whole full year of just playing where I know I can play,” Graham said. “Everything’s always switching. We had a new D-line coach last year when everything started getting better. Now we have a new coach. But I’m always going to adjust.”
He’s going to need to do it quickly, as well. The former first-round pick has 8.5 sacks in three seasons. And though he finished well last year, the new regime isn’t going to have the same kind of tie to a former pick, so they’ll want to see production, fast.