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Chip Kelly: Defense can't be labeled a 3-4 or 4-3

Since Chip Kelly came to town we've all been under the assumption that the Eagles defense was going to change. Whether that was to a 3-4 or a 4-3 "under" system... it wasn't going to be like it was under Reid. So far that seems to be true, it will be different.

But what will it actually be?

"No. 1, it hinges on the players that we have," said Chip Kelly. "Then No. 2, it hinges on the situation of the game. There are no purists. No one runs a 3‑4 defense every single down. No one runs a 4-3 every single down. People have elements of both in there."

Ok but on most downs, what will it be Chip?

"In nickel, you may be in a four‑down [lineman] operation, but who are you playing? A team that throws the ball a lot. So we're going to be a more four-down this week. So 65 percent of our snaps will be four-down defense." Kelly said. "Other teams are going to be a little bit more three‑down. But if you're going to play three‑down, you better make sure you got a nose that can two‑gap and defensive end that can two‑gap and those things, because if you don't have them, it doesn't matter how you deploy yourself defensively, you're not going to be able to hold up."

Kelly said that really the team is still trying to figure out what they have. They're only a few days into their first ever minicamp, so they don't know exactly what is the best fit for their personel. Although one way to deal with the differences between 4 down and 3 down lineman is to just get guys that can do both.

"If you're going to nickel or if you're a 3‑4 team, who are you taking off the field if you're bringing in that extra defensive back? But someone that has that versatility that can play in a three‑down front or four‑down front, that really helps," said Kelly.

"Can you be an outside linebacker and drop into coverage on first and second down and be a defensive end that rushes the quarterback on third down? So versatility is kind of the key to that. We think we have some guys like that, but we're not going to make that determination today. We'll continue to put them in situations and see how they operate."

So 3-4, 4-3, both? We'll just have to see.

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