Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Titans' Washburn headed to Eagles?
By Dan Graziano
One of the most highly respected defensive line coaches in the league could be joining the Philadelphia Eagles, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. If the Eagles can land veteran assistant Jim Washburn, it would be quite a coup. And Jeff McLane of the Inquirer is reporting that a deal is imminent.
I had the good fortune to spend a lot of time talking to Jim Schwartz when he was defensive coordinator with the Titans. He always praised Washburn's work with the defensive line, and the results over the past 12 seasons have been remarkable. ESPN.com AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky thinks the Titans are making a big mistake by not keeping Washburn.
There's a reason players across the league swear by Washburn, who is known for his fiery approach. Wyatt notes that 11 defensive linemen left the Titans during Washburn's time to sign free-agent contracts elsewhere at a total value of more than $355 million.
It was Washburn who helped prepare Albert Haynesworth to cash that huge check from Redskins owner Dan Snyder. And the Eagles watched one of their castoffs from the '09 season, defensive end Jason Babin, have 12.5 sacks for the Titans this season and make his first Pro Bowl. In his previous six seasons in the league, Babin had 17.5 sacks.
No offense to Rory Segrest, but this would be a huge upgrade for the Eagles just in terms of experience and credibility. I believe that Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and even Juqua Parker could flourish under Washburn. And Parker would hit the ground running since he's already worked with him.
Check out this testimonial from former Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch as he was preparing to sign a lucrative free-agent contract with the Lions:
"To me, personally, football and career wise, he has had the biggest influence on my career,’’ Vanden Bosch told The Tennessean. "The main reason is he understands his players, he cares about players. As a fan that comes out for training camp practices, you see him yelling and think it must be tough to play for him. But he does it because he truly wants to get the best out of his players and cares about his players."