ESPN's NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Thursday that the Philadelphia Eagles have asked for permission to interview Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach Dean Pees for their opening at defensive coordinator. Coach Andy Reid has overseen this process from the Eagles' Antigua bureau, but he's expected to return to South Philly on Friday.
Daily News beat man Les Bowen says an Eagles source is denying Schefter's report and indicates the club will stick with its 4-3 defensive scheme. Pees served under Bill Belichick in New England before either leaving or being fired. I've read reports suggesting the Eagles have been acquiring players who would be a good fit in a 3-4 scheme, but I've never had that impression.
Last year's first-round pick, defensive end Brandon Graham, fit the Eagles' prototype for a pass-rusher in the 4-3 scheme. (Quick, strong, smallish). Graham's probably versatile enough to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but that's not really what the Eagles envisioned for him. Just compare him to Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, who recently made that transition. Graham doesn't have Orakpo's strength or size.
Trent Cole and Juqua Parker don't strike me as players who would flourish in a 3-4 scheme either. I could see the Eagles trying to become a lot more creative on defense, but a wholesale change to the 3-4 seems unlikely at this point.
I'll ask a few scouts today whether the Eagles have been secretly trying to make the transition, but I don't see it.