Lions coach Jim Schwartz was the Titans' defensive coordinator when Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn coached the line in Tennessee.
"Both defenses are quite different, but in the big picture, they're very similar as far as how they align it, what they expect out of the front and these types of things," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said.
He noted that the Eagles' offense only practices against other teams' defensive schemes during the season, so the offensive lineman haven't seen the wide nine in a month or so.
Speed is an essential component if you're going to run a wide nine, and Mornhinweg said the Lions have it.
Left guard Evan Mathis said most of the adjustments involve the offensive tackles, who face those defensive ends split so wide. For guards and the center, Mathis said, the setup is pretty much the same as for any 4-3 defense.
Mathis said lots of teams use the alignment here and there, it isn't all that rare.
"It's something that at some point in our careers, each of us has likely played against," Mathis said.
Punter Mat McBriar said Thursday his left foot, still healing from nerve damage caused by a cyst, feels pretty much back to normal.
"The surgeon who operated on me [in January] said by the summer I'd start to get my function back, and then he was sort of hopeful that by midseason I'd be sort of back, that my foot would feel normal to punt. That was the hope and I feel like I've sort of bested his [time frame]. Now, I really feel like it's basically back to full strength in terms of my kicking."
McBriar was disappointed with his first punt Sunday at Pittsburgh. From the Steelers' 43, McBriar tried to drop the ball inside the 20. A fair catch at the 18 was not what he'd had in mind.
McBriar said the wind situation changed dramatically going toward the open end of Heinz Field and the Ohio River.
"Right before the anthem, I was out there kicking in that direction and the ball seemed to be traveling just fine. And then I got out there and it seemed like it hit this wall," McBriar said. "I was like, 'You're kidding me, it went nowhere.' . . . I definitely wasn't aiming for the 18. It just sort of stood up."
Former Eagles punter Chas Henry apparently will work out for the Cowboys Friday . . . Everybody practiced for the Eagles Thursday . . . Juan Castillo on moving Akeem Jordan right back into the starting WIL role this week, now that his hammy is OK: "Usually, we say that you can't lose your job because of an injury," Castillo said. "I think Akeem was doing a really good job while he was playing. We missed him. He's a physical, smart player. He helps us against the run game." . . . Special-teams coordinator Bobby April said Jordan will resume his key special teams role, as well. "It's a big plus, because he's a really good player," April said. "Really experienced, knows what he's doing." . . . April said that with kick coverage becoming such a problem, he has "changed a few things up [in practice] to highlight things I thought we were weak at" . . . Marty Mornhinweg was asked whether he tends to get more conservative when his QB turns the ball over early, as Michael Vick did Sunday at Pittsburgh. "I would hope not," Mornhinweg said. "You've got to fight it just a little bit, to stay aggressive and have complete confidence [in the QB], which I do."
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