If Andy Reid made other adjustments to the Eagles defense aside from firing Juan Castillo during the bye week, it wasn't evident on Monday when the Eagles reconvened for a light practice.

The personnel on defense remained untouched, despite hints from Reid that there was change in the air.

But if firing defensive coordinator Castillo and replacing him with Todd Bowles ends up being the only change Reid makes, it will still be a significant one. And yet, it was difficult to glean how the defense will look under new stewardship.

Bowles addressed the defense as a whole for the first time, and while he did not offer specifics, players said, he did stress the need for one major modification.

"The biggest thing he said was we're not going to be predictable anymore," linebacker Casey Matthews said.

Last Tuesday, during his introductory news conference, Bowles said that he would not make any momentous changes in terms of scheme and terminology. He said that Jim Washburn's wide-nine alignment on the defensive line would still be used, although he did leave wiggle room to do other things.

Bowles also said that he would employ both zone and man-to-man pass defenses. He said that he would blitz as long as it was working. In other words, there is flexibility for the first-time coordinator to make the defense his own.

"That's kind of up to him," cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. "He could change it all, or he could just change it a little bit. It's all possibilities. I'm not sure exactly what he's going to implement and how he's going to do it."

What is also uncertain is how much influence Bowles will have over Washburn's unit. Castillo had very little to do with the defensive line. Bowles said that Washburn will still have primary responsibility for coaching the linemen. But in terms of scheme, will Bowles have more of a say with what goes on up front?

"Oh, you'll have to ask him that," defensive end Jason Babin said. "I don't know."

Bowles has never called plays in the NFL, although safety Kurt Coleman hinted that as the defensive backs coach, Bowles had been already involved.

"I think in the grand scheme of things," Coleman said, "he was helping make play calls throughout this year."

If there is one obvious change, it is in personality.

"Obviously, he's a totally different type of coach than Juan," Matthews said. "Juan was a little more fiery. Todd's laid-back, but he knows what he's talking about."

The defensive backs have spoken glowingly about Bowles since the spring, a few months after Reid hired him to be their coach. The linebackers have had the opportunity to work with him in practice when implementing their zone looks. But the linemen, for the most part, are now being introduced to the 48-year-old.

"I'm not a football guy. I don't know too much about him," Babin said. "Shows up on time, works hard."

The players who have worked closely with Bowles said that his experience as a former NFL safety and cornerback influences how he treats his players - "like men . . . and professionals," safety Nate Allen said. They said his coaching resumé has earned their respect.

"He was the interim head coach of the Dolphins last year," Matthews said. "He's been around. He's well-respected. I think that's one thing, as a player, he's been on the defensive side for a while. Juan came over from the offense, so a lot of people, especially vets, you don't know if they're qualified."

Asomugha's comments following the Eagles' overtime loss to the Lions on Oct. 14 were interpreted by many to be the veteran criticizing Castillo's late-game play calling.

"I had a tough time last week when those stories came out, to be honest," Asomugha said. "It was more so a character thing, and that's something that I would never do as a player.

"But there's no underlying [message], 'This was said, but it might have meant this.' I wouldn't do that to a coach and especially Juan, just because as far as a player-coach relationship, we had been so communicative."

Still, Castillo was fired two days later as Reid looked to inject something into his 3-3 team. Coleman said that it was new energy that was injected into the defense. Babin was nonplussed.

"I've been doing this for nine years now," Babin said, "so you kind of have to be numb to the goings-on."