Elise Amendola/Associated Press
Belichick has never been shy in moving his chess pieces on the board. However, the personnel groupings and changes that he has made this preseason—especially against the Philadelphia Eagles—would leave even Bobby Fischer scratching his head.
When speaking with media following the game, Belichick touched on the apparent rearrangement of personnel in the defensive secondary:
That inside position that Logan and Kyle played, I would say relates more to the nickel position that they play in sub defense than it does to the safety position in a regular defense against a two receiver set.
I'm not saying that there isn't some application of both but because it's a multiple receiver team that nickel position, the slot guy, could either be on that receiver or he could be playing some type of zone coverage more like a safety.
It's against that type of personnel group that we've done it; a lot of other teams in the league do it too. So it's not really nickel but it's not really your regular defense, it's a little bit of a hybrid there to try to match up against the multiple receivers that that offense has on the field.
While the cornerback and safety switching—if you want to call it that—looks like it is here to stay, don't get too used to seeing offensive linemen report in as eliglble. Belichick touched on that as well:
[N]one of those players are really here to play tight end. They're here to play center, guard or tackle, whatever the offensive line position or a combination is.
So which guy we move to tight end, that's kind of a function of who's available, who would cause the least disruption in the offensive line, combined with which player has the best skills to play on the end of the line. I'd say it comes down to a combination of those two things.
As the important third game of the preseason comes into focus, look for Belichick to hone in on his desired groupings and start to show some consistency.