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Will Todd Bowles alter Eagles' defense?

11/7/2012

IRVING, Texas -- Former Cowboys secondary coach Todd Bowles is entering his third week as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Head coach Andy Reid fired Juan Castillo and asked Bowles to take over an Eagles defense that ranks in the middle of the pack in overall defense (15th), against the run (16th) and vs. the pass (15th).

In Bowles first week on the job, the Eagles allowed 392 yards of total offense in a 30-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Bowles' defense gave up 371 yards Monday night in a 28-17 loss to New Orleans.

"He's been doing good, he's doing good," Reid said Wednesday morning in a conference call with reporters. "He understands the system. He's been in a 4-3 before and he understands it, and I know there was a lot said about him being a 3-4 guy and that. He understands the 4-3, he's doing good with it."

But could Bowles change how the Eagles do things on defense?

It's possible, but it's hard at this stage of the season to make wholesale changes. Now, Bowles could ask his cornerbacks to play more man-to-man or switch to more zone coverages. Bowles could ask his defensive linemen to do other things, like twists and the such to confuse the Cowboys offensive linemen.

"We have to see, that's one of the things we've been trying to look at the last couple of weeks," coach Jason Garrett said. "Have they changed their scheme? What's different about what they're doing? I know in midstream it's hard to just say, 'Ok, we're just going to do something completely different.' I think they believe in the defensive philosophy, and so what we try to do is over the last couple of weeks (find) out how are they different than what they've been the rest of the year or in previous years."