NFC East: Kyle Vanden Bosch
"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.
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."
When Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch raced in to cause a Michael Vick fumble, the quarterback accidentally rolled up on Peters' ankle while he was engaged with another player.
I'd be shocked to see him return to the field today.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
My first priority is simply finding the media parking lot. This will be the first preseason game at Cowboys Stadium and the club is expecting more than 70,000 fans to show up. Fortunately, the Rangers just left on a road trip, so the traffic around the stadium shouldn't be unbearable.
Once I make it to the stadium, I'm very interested to see how Tony Romo holds up against a top-notch defense. Albert Haynesworth may be gone, but the Titans still have plenty of firepower up front. We've heard Romo talk about cutting down his turnovers and tonight's a good opportunity to see if he can back that up.
I think both offenses will be pretty vanilla, but it will be intriguing to watch former University of Texas star Vince Young operate against the Cowboys' second-team defense. I think it will be a good test for reserve linebacker Bobby Carpenter and some of the Cowboys' rookies. Players such as Victor Butler and Brandon Williams need to take some of the things they displayed in training camp into a preseason game.
The Cowboys' backups didn't play well last week against the Raiders and it's important for them to have a good showing tonight. I'm also anxious to see how Roy Williams and the Cowboys' receivers perform against a pretty solid secondary.
It will also be a game in which the Cowboys' highly regarded running back trio will face a tough test. I think you'll see Felix Jones involved in the passing game early and often. It's also important that Marion Barber and Tashard Choice get their fair share of reps. It's not like the Cowboys desperately need to win this game, but they do need a better overall performance.
Also looking forward to catching up with an old reader of the blog formerly known as Hashmarks, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. The NFC East blog would like to take this opportunity to welcome AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky to town. We may combine on a few things later this evening -- if we feel like it.
Thanks for your continued support. Let's meet back here later this evening. And a special note to Giants fans: I had a good visit with Kenny Phillips earlier this afternoon. You can read about him in a story I'm preparing for Tuesday.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Because of the tragic scene at Valley Ranch, I sort of lost touch with the Redskins' and Eagles' minicamps over the weekend. Most of you guys were very understanding and we really appreciate that.
I had a chance to visit with Brian Orakpo via phone Sunday afternoon and you can read what he said in my weekly Thursday column, which normally goes live at about 1 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, check out some of the pictures that Redskins blogger Matt Terl took over the weekend.
It's pretty hard for a player to look menacing when he's posing on a raquetball court, but Orakpo pulls it off. In the column, we'll talk about his transition to linebacker and playing next to defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. The two are already experimenting with some of the same stunts that he and Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch once used.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
I was flipping through my handy 490-page copy of Pro Football Prospectus 2008 when I came across this note on the Redskins' new defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth:
Right end Kyle Vanden Bosch particularly benefits from the attention Haynesworth's presence draws. In the past two seasons, Vanden Bosch has averaged 0.7 sacks per game in the 22 games that Haynesworth has started. The ten times Haynesworth wasn't in the starting lineup, however, Vanden Bosch averaged 0.3 sacks per game.
The one other thing that popped out at me is that Haynesworth was the fourth most penalized defender in the league in 2007 with nine.
The official press release arrived at 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday. The Washington Redskins had agreed to terms with the most dominant defensive tackle in the game in Albert Haynesworth. ESPN.com's John Clayton is reporting a seven-year, $100 million deal that includes $41 million guaranteed.
|AP Photo/Marco Garcia|
|Washington's $100 million man.|
We'd been hearing that the guarantee might be in the $30 million to $40 million range, but it's still staggering to see that $41 million figure. Haynesworth immediately becomes the centerpiece of the Redskins' defense. Greg Blache will try to duplicate what the Titans were able to do with Haynesworth over the past couple of seasons. In the end, Tennessee never had a chance to re-sign the former Vol. Haynesworth benefited from being the only true big-ticket item in free agency. And I mean BIG ticket item.
In Nashville, Haynesworth helped make players such as Kyle Vanden Bosch elite pass-rushers off the edge. He was a disruptive force up the middle who could make it almost impossible to run inside. And his best trait is his ability to collapse the pocket against the passing game. The Redskins will move him up and down the line to create the best matchups. Or at least that's what they should do.
Haynesworth immediately helps the anemic pass rush because he commands so much attention. Is he worth $41 million in guaranteed money? Well, check back in a year or so. For starters, that's what the market dictated. Roger Goodell might be taking a 20 percent pay cut, but that didn't cause Redskins owner Dan Snyder to tighten his belt on this deal.
Snyder's obviously more comfortable throwing millions around in free agency than building through the draft. He tried skipping free agency last year, but the Redskins didn't exactly light up the draft. The Haynesworth deal -- as obscene as it is -- should signal to Redskins fans (and the rest of the NFC East) that Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato are willing to do whatever it takes. That's the type of contract normally reserved for a franchise quarterback. In 2007, the $30 million guarantee to Tony Romo blew everyone away. Now, the Redskins have raised the stakes -- by $11 million.
I stipulate to the fact that Haynesworth is perhaps the game's most disruptive force. Even more than some of the big-sack guys like DeMarcus Ware and Justin Tuck. But he does miss quite a few games (22 in seven seasons), and he has the reputation for taking plays off at times.
|Albert Haynesworth shows why he is one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.|
How will Haynesworth react now that he's been paid? As I pointed out Thursday, I think the Titans had him in the perfect position because he was basically in a "contract year" for two seasons. He was an MVP candidate in both of those seasons.
If the Redskins advance to the Super Bowl during the Haynesworth years, then we'll probably agree that he was worth the money. Anything short of that, though, and we'll focus most of our attention on his exorbitant contract.
Hit "refresh" every five minutes for more updates!
I talked to a longtime scout Thursday night who said it's not a given that Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth would flourish on another team. There's a belief that Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn is one of the best assistants in the game. Players such as Kyle Vanden Bosch, Kevin Carter, Antwan Odom and Haynesworth have had career seasons under Washburn.
Back with more on that in a moment.