This season, the Eagles plan on shifting to a hybrid defense under new defensive coordinator, Billy Davis. And while the new system opens up plenty of possibilities, it leaves some Andy Reid holdovers in unfamiliar territory. One of those returning veteran players, Trent Cole, is learning a new position due to the change in scheme.
Since the Davis hiring, rumors have run wild among fans and the media about Cole's fit in the still-mysterious defense. With the use of odd fronts, Cole seemingly would be misplaced in the lineup after playing exclusively as a 4-3 defensive end throughout his first nine years in the league.
However, while the challenge is evident, Cole is embracing the position switch with open arms. "I gotta wipe my slate clean and learn everything over again," said Cole. "I am just a very competitive person and there's nothing wrong with change, especially after having a season like we did last year."
Cole has credited his attitude for his determination to succeed at outside linebacker."I am a really stubborn type of person," said the former Pro Bowler. "I don't want to fail at nothing and I am going to go all out until I can be successful at (outside linebacker)."
While the University of Cincinnati alum has welcomed the change and feels like he is headed in the right direction, he does admit it has not been an easy process."When you're out there running a lot more than usual, the biggest challenge is to get your legs under you," said Cole, who experienced a career-low in sacks in 2012. "I feel great now and I feel I can play better now."
The final outcome of Cole's journey from defensive end to outside linebacker will not be determined until the end of the 2013 season, but he hopes the move will revitalize his game. Cole enters the season as the Eagles third all-time sack leader and he is optimistic about the direction the team is headed. "I can't wait until the season," said Cole. "I feel like we're going to have a good season."