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Cole & Curry face weighty adjustments

Eagles’ Cole, Curry face heavy changes

Trent Cole during a game last season. (Paul Connors/AP file)
Trent Cole during a game last season. (Paul Connors/AP file)Read more

VINNY CURRY is a now a 3-4 end. Trent Cole is a linebacker. Curry is trying to gain weight, Cole is trying to shed it. Both need to prove they can fit into a defense they were not drafted to play, for which their body types might not be ideally suited.

Cole is 30, coming off the least productive of his eight NFL seasons, with 32 solo tackles and three sacks. Asked Wednesday about postseason hand surgery, Cole acknowledged he "snapped in half" a bone in the hand, playing with a hand injury originally suffered during the 2011 season.

"I had to get some surgery on it," he said. "Tore tendons on it and everything - bone and tendon, right at the joint. The surgery went fine, to help me get some movement in my hand."

Cole didn't seem to think the hand was responsible for his poor play.

"It's something hard to comment about, because so much was going on. You just gotta chalk that up . . . that's the first bad year I ever had, and it's not going to happen again," Cole said.

"This is a year to redeem myself," said Cole, who said he was "disgusted" by his 2012 season.

Cole said he was eager to do whatever new defensive coordinator Billy Davis wants, but he also seemed less than sold on the linebacker plan, casting it as something the team is trying, the implication being the Eagles might at some point move him back to end - even though, as Cole nears his goal weight of 260 pounds, he would seem about 30 pounds shy of normal 3-4 defensive end size.

"We're trying different things," Cole said. "I've dropped back in coverage in the past. It's not new to me . . . We don't know where we're going to be at right now."

Coles said he is impressed by the teaching style of the new staff.

"When they tell you they want you to do this or do that, they always tell you why," he said.

Cole said he thinks a standup pass rusher "has a jump on his opponent."

Curry, the 2012 second-round pick who grew up an Eagles fan in Neptune, N.J., didn't get on the field until the final six games of the season, when Jason Babin was released and defensive-line coach Jim Washburn quickly followed. The Eagles listed Curry at 6-3, 266 last year, but he has a broad-shouldered, imposing build.

"I just want to play," Curry said, when asked about the switch in systems. Is he better suited to gaining 10-15 pounds to play 3-4 end or dropping weight so he can drop into coverage as an outside linebacker?

"That's a good question," he allowed. "We'll soon find out."

Curry said he isn't flummoxed by the new scheme - he said this was the system Marshall ran when he arrived there, under defensive-line coach Jerry Azzinaro, who left after Curry's freshman year to go to Oregon. Azzinaro now coaches the Eagles' d-line.