Ever since the Eagles hired Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator, it's been expected that Philadelphia will move back to a 4-3 defense. In an interview with 94WIP's Angelo Cataldi on Friday morning, Schwartz essentially confirmed the scheme change. Via Nick Piccone of PhillyInfluencer.com:
Angelo Cataldi: You will change the scheme, Jim. Everybody assumes you’ll go more to a 4-3. Is that safe to say?
Jim Schwartz: Um, yeah, for sure. We’re not gonna be a two-gap 3-4. I want those defensive lineman to be attacking. I want those guys to be creating and wreaking some havoc and putting pressure on the quarterback. They’re not gonna be playing at the line of scrimmage and grabbing guys and trying to keep the linebackers clean. I think we have some good guys up front. We can take the handcuffs off of them a little bit and get some more production out of them.
While Schwartz has often used the 4-3, he commonly insists he's not married to a specific scheme. Rather, he talks about the importance of scheming to the strength of his players.
The Eagles ran a two-gap 3-4 defense ever since Chip Kelly arrived in Philadelphia. Prior to that, the Eagles always employed a 4-3 scheme during the Andy Reid era.
Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry are among Eagles players who are excited about the 4-3 defense. Eagles fans should be happy, too:
Schwartz has overseen top seven defenses the last three times he's been a defensive coordinator. There's reason to believe he'll have success in Philadelphia as well. The new scheme should play up to the strengths of the likes of Cox, Curry, and former 4-3 defensive end Brandon Graham.