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Monday, January 24, 2011
More praise for Jim Washburn

By Matt Mosley

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, SI.com'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.