The Eagles enter the 2013 season during a transition on defense. The well-publicized and speculated hybrid system of Billy Davis has, more or less, been confirmed over the last few weeks of offseason workouts, but there are still questions about what pieces will go where. Connor Barwin, the team's new outside linebacker, is no stranger to transitions, having made the move with the Houston Texans during the league lockout of 2011. That season, Barwin's Texans went from 31st in defense to 2nd overall under Wade Phillips.
Since Barwin has experience in both odd and even fronts, he knows the possibilities are intriguing in a hybrid system. "I am excited," said Barwin, who has 14.5 sacks over the last two seasons. "I don't know how it will all turn out but I am excited about this defense. I am very excited about my role and what Billy (Davis) has me doing right now. There's a lot of movement, (and) there's a lot of versatility in what I do and I think it's going to free me up a lot."
Barwin was used in several different spots in Houston, so fans have only been able to speculate on his role with the defense. A man of many skills, Barwin believes his versatility will keep the opposing offense guessing. "I'll be doing a bit of everything," said Barwin. "It keeps the offense on their toes. They don't know where I'll be going."
While the Cincinnati alum has done well rushing the passer, he has also proven to be a capable defender in coverage. "Every outside linebacker should be good against tight ends," said Barwin. "When I was in Houston, you weren't allowed to be blocked by a tight end. It should be the same way here."
Much like his teammates, Barwin's choice of words for the Eagles new defense is becoming more like a team slogan than an explanation. "The defense is very versatile," said the former Texan. "Everything changes."
For the Eagles sake, a change in defense would be a welcomed move.