Trent Cole, Brandon Graham may not last long with Eagles

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Cole and Brandon Graham will have their hands full trying to transition to outside linebackers in Philadelphia, but if they can't, they could be on their way out next season.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a new coaching staff, which means new schemes on both sides of the ball, for the first time in a long time. New head coach Chip Kelly is a believer in his system, and will likely prioritize the system over any one player. As pointed out by Jeff McLane at Philly.com, this could spell bad news for a few players.

Those two players include defensive ends Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. Rather, they're now referred to as "former defensive ends," or just "outside linebackers," as Kelly reverts to what will primarily be a 3-4 defense. Cole and Graham have 11 years total experience together, all with the Eagles, and all as hand-in-the-dirt defensive ends.

Both players are trying their best to make the transition to standing outside linebackers, but it's a difficult conversion. Players coming from college often have to make the transition, but it seems tougher on players who have learned to play the game at this level doing something different.

Neither player has much coverage skills, or rather, it's unlikely that they do, given that we haven't really seen it. Defensive linemen have to make their own reads, but in coverage, it's a whole different ball game. Of course, they're not going to be asked to cover No. 1 receivers or anything, but it's still a tough step to take.

It's likely that both players will remain with the Eagles this season, but unless they show serious aptitude standing up and in coverage, they could be out the door the following season.

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