NFC East: Jason Jones

More praise for Jim Washburn

January, 24, 2011
The Philadelphia Eagles don't have a defensive coordinator yet, but apparently they landed the best defensive line coach in the business in Jim Washburn. In his Monday Morning Quarterback column,'s Peter King delivered an interesting nugget on Washburn, who spent 12 seasons with the Tennessee Titans:

"In his years coaching the Tennessee line, he'd always get lightly regarded players (Jacob Ford, Jason Jones) or veteran rejects (Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jason Babin) to produce in the pass-rush game," writes King. "One of his secrets was charting every sack in the NFL each year to determine what kind of move was used (spin, bull-rush, stunt/twist) to get to the quarterback, and where exactly the sack took place.

"So let's say Washburn's study determined that the average sacks of the teams Tennessee was going to play the next year occurred 5.5 yards behind the left guard. Washburn would then coach the following offseason to target the area 5.5 yards behind the left guard as the spot during drills his linemen would aim for. He took pass-rush science to a new level."

The Eagles' pass-rush was good in spurts this past season, but it fell off the map down the stretch. Andy Reid is banking that Washburn can have a dramatic impact on his pass-rushers. And he loves the fact that Washburn has something to prove after his stay in Nashville ended on somewhat of a sour note. Washburn's former players (and a fair amount of media types) absolutely swear by the guy.

And as I've always said, most sacks take place 5.5 yards behind the left guard. With this knowledge, Trent Cole might be headed for a 16-sack season.

Wrap-up: Titans 37, Eagles 19

October, 24, 2010
Let's a look at quick look at how the Philadelphia Eagles lost this game, 37-19 to the Tennessee Titans:

What it means: It means the Eagles coughed up a game they had under control in the third quarter. The Eagles had a 16-7 lead and were moving toward the Titans' goal line when Titans defensive tackle Jason Jones caused a fumble and gave his team new life. Neither center Mike McGlynn nor right guard Max Jean-Gilles attempted to block Jones, so it's hard to say who blew the assignment. The play completely turned this game around and the Titans drove down and made it 16-10.

The goats: The Eagles had no chance at covering Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt after he missed part of the first half as punishment for a night club altercation last week. Safety Nate Allen allowed an 80-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter when he let Britt race right past him. Titans quarterback Kerry Collins badly underthew the ball, but Allen couldn't recover in time. It was the rookie's worst game of the season. And he didn't get much help from cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who allowed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Britt to give the Titans a 27-19 lead. Britt had seven catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles' secondary. He was brilliant in the second half, but the Eagles also gave him a hand by completely blowing coverages. And just so we don't leave anyone out, what a sad effort by Asante Samuel when Chris Johnson broke his tackle attempt to run for a first down late in the game.

The final nail: The Eagles would have had the ball back with 3:49 left in the game trailing by eight, but Jorrick Calvin fumbled during a punt return. He didn't appear to field the punt cleanly, and then he complicated matters by fighting for extra yardage during the return. It's not like he was going to escape the players who had him in their grasp. It was a back-breaking mistake, but on this day, Calvin had plenty of help.

What's next: The Eagles will have a week off to think about what may have been. This loss could haunt the Eagles the rest of the season as they now fall into a second-place tie with the Skins with a 4-3 record. And remember that the Skins have wins over the Cowboys and Eagles. The Titans absolutely own the NFC East with wins over the Eagles, Redskins and Cowboys. The Giants sit alone in first place in the division at 4-2.

DeAngelo Hall makes huge play

October, 24, 2010
Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall has put his team up, 17-14, with a 92-yard interception return for a touchdown. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler floated the ball toward the sideline and Hall snagged it with one hand before racing down the sideline for a touchdown.

The Bears had gashed the Skins with the run on a long drive, but Hall's play has changed this game dramatically. In Nashville, Titans defensive tackle Jason Jones broke through and caused a fumble when it looked like the Eagles were about to extend a nine-point lead. Now the Eagles' lead has been trimmed to 16-10.