Eagles shuffle the deck on D

If you haven't stumbled across Sheil Kapadia's Moving the Chains blog, you're really missing out. Sheil runs the show at Philly.com and he does a nice job of digging up valuable nuggets for Eagles fans and observers.

In his latest blog entry, Sheil breaks down how defensive coordinator Sean McDermott has been rotating his defenders. The Eagles are blessed with a lot of talent along the defensive line and McDermott's not afraid to make wholesale changes to create the right matchups. In Sunday's game against the Broncos, McDermott tightened his rotation at defensive tackle while continuing to rotate his defensive ends.

As Sheil points out, that might have something to do with how well Brodrick Bunkley and Mike Patterson are playing right now. They have been highly effective against the run, although Frank Gore did have a nice day recently.

Did you guys realize that Jeremiah Trotter didn't play a single snap in the second half against the Broncos after being relatively effective in the first half? Akeem Jordan moved over and played a lot of middle linebacker in the Eagles' base defense. He obviously gives the Eagles more versatility at that position. Here's the breakdown at linebacker against the Broncos in terms of total plays:

The Eagles will sometimes go to a single-linebacker look when they want to get cornerback Dimitri Patterson on the field. I love taking a look at McDermott's different personnel groupings. From what I can tell, he doesn't call as many blitzes as his predecessor, Jim Johnson, but it seems like he uses more players. Will he tighten the rotations during the playoffs? We'll soon find out.