ON MONDAY, when reporters first watched the Eagles practice under Chip Kelly, among the stranger sights was a rep that featured Trent Cole crouching, his hands held at hip level, as he lined up across from slot receiver Jason Avant.

So far, much of what has been written and said about the Eagles under Kelly concerns the offense. That's understandable, given that Kelly's offensive theories are why he got the job. The offense is why practice is run at such a hectic pace.

But new defensive coordinator Billy Davis' unit is making an equally huge adjustment; maybe a bigger one, given that there figure to be more new defensive starters in 2013 than new offensive starters. Though players caution the Eagles will be a 4-3 team in certain situations, Monday they pretty much showed a three-man front, the "4-3 under" scheme Davis employed in Arizona a few years back. (Basically, what would be the weakside defensive end in a 4-3 stands up, and the strongside linebacker stands over the tight end, with three linemen down in stances. It's really kind of a 5-2, if you go by proximity to the line of scrimmage, rather than who's in what type of stance.)

Among the more prominent players, the change has been biggest for Cole, whose play at defensive end in the 4-3 ranks him third in franchise history with 71 sacks, and for Brandon Graham, the 2010 first-round defensive end who seemed finally ready to blossom down the stretch last season when Jason Babin was released and Graham started to play regularly. Cole, Graham and former Houston Texan Connor Barwin figure to be the top three outside linebackers in the new setup; Cole and Barwin generally worked with the first team Monday.

"It doesn't feel strange anymore," Cole said this week. "I'm going to be [lined up opposite a receiver] more than I have been in the past, but I'm taking to it well. You've gotta pay attention to detail and you've gotta watch more [than you do as a 4-3 end]."

Is this a good fit for Cole, 30, who so obviously enjoyed exploding wild-eyed out of a three-point stance and hurling himself at offensive tackles?

"I'm not going to say if it's good or bad; I can't really tell you that," Cole said. "I just know that whatever position they put me in, I'm going to do what I have to do, do what they tell me to do. I'm up for anything."