Eagles Fire Defensive Line Coach Jim WashburnBREAKING NEWS, Defensive Line, Eagles, News Monday, December 3rd, 2012
The Eagles have fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn and replaced him with former line coach Tom Brasher. Andy Reid made a critical mistake when he hired Washburn as the defensive line coach before hiring a defensive coordinator. He gave Washburn too much power and when added to his strong personality created a serious problem for any defensive coordinator who had to work with him.
“Jim is a fine football coach and we appreciate the efforts he gave to this team over the past two years,” Reid said in a statement released by the team. “However, I determined that it was in the team’s best interest that we move in a different direction in terms of trying to maximize the production of that position group. We look forward to having Tommy Brasher back on board to work with the defensive line.”
Former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo had never been very assertive as an assistant coach for Reid for over a decade, so he had trouble not letting Washburn have his way with the defensive schemes. I’m told that Washburn wasn’t a team player and he put his defensive linemen first, which meant going after sacks at the expense of the rest of the defense.
The wide nine is nothing new. Playing it on every down is what is new. I also have said for years that the Eagles should let their middle linebacker get them out of the wide nine alignment when he senses a run play. It’s a pass rush scheme and nothing more.
Washburn had done the same thing in Tennessee. I learned that he had it out with Jeff Fisher when here was there and in a way believed that his defensive linemen were answerable to him and no one else. It was as if they had their own separate team.
New defensive coordinator Todd Bowles suffered the same problems trying to do what he thought was best for the defense while at the same time keeping Washburn happy.
Unfortunately this has been an ongoing problem, which reached a head when the Eagles released Washburn’s favorite defensive lineman, Jason Babin. Washburn wasn’t happy at all about it and made it be known indirectly to the rest of the defensive linemen.
Reid’s mistake in hiring Washburn before he had hired a defensive coordinator will ultimately play a big role in getting him fired. I think Reid also offensive line coach Howard Mudd have too much power and it caused the Eagles to give away offensive linemen who could have done a much better job as backups than the group they have here now.
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