USATodaySports/Camporeale

The Eagles are moving to a 4-3 D with wide splits and local media sees that benefitting one Coug but not necessarily the other

DESTINY VAEAO starts rookie mini camp with Philadelphia today and at least one sports reporter covering the Eagles believes the old Cougar and the team's move to a 4-3 defense from a 3-4 could be a dreamy match.

The club's interior line depth is questionable, writes Luke Miller of Metro.us, noting, "Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan will be fine starters, but behind them Taylor Hart has yet to produce and Beau Allen seems best suited to the 3-4."

Surprisingly, he says, the Eagles ignored the defensive line in the recent draft, but the depth of the DL talent coming out of college "left them with several gems to choose from once the draft had finished."

He says Vaeao, along with Boston College's Connor Wujciak and Stanford's Aziz Shittu, "have the pedigree and opportunity to shine this summer and compete for a spot on the roster."

The 6-4, 300-pound Vaeao started 35 games in his WSU career, posting 84 tackles and 18 TFLs while earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors this past season. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Eagles almost immediately after the draft concluded on April 30.

ANOTHER COUGAR ON THE Eagles' roster is defensive end/outside linebacker Travis Long, who has had nothing bud bad luck in his first two years with the club. He has missed each of the last two seasons with a torn ACL. News of the status of his latest rehab has been hard to come by, but he's still on the radar of Philadelphia media.

Two weeks ago, Nick Fierro of the Allentown Morning Call mused about the Eagles' move not just to a 4-3 but to exceedingly wide gap splits and where the agile Long might fit. Still, he dubbed Long a "long shot" to make the final roster.

Meanwhile, Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com said in late February he's not sure Long fits with the 4-3.

"He was in a great spot with the Eagles before he tore his ACL in August," he said. "He was set to be the Eagles’ third outside linebacker, who would rotate in with Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham. Now, with the Eagles’ switching to a 4-3, Long finds himself as a tweener. He’s probably more of a defensive end, but is a little light at 255 pounds. Maybe he’ll provide depth at end, but I’m not sold."

The Cougars didn't win a lot of games while Long was at WSU but he distinguished himself in a major way from 2009-12, earning some form of All-Pac-12 recognition in each of his four seasons on the Palouse.

TRAVIS LONG (Getty/Daniel)


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