After firing longtime defensive line coach Rory Segrest last week, the Eagles announced Wednesday that they have agreed to terms with former Titans D-line coach Jim Washburn to be Segrest’s successor.
“My wife, Sandy, and I have long planned to make Middle Tennessee our home and that is still our plan,” Washburn said in a statement. “However, we look forward to moving to Philadelphia and joining a top-flight organization like the Eagles and work for a premier coach in Andy Reid.”
Washburn spent the last 12 years in Tennessee working with former Eagles Coordinator Jeff Fisher. He is quite possibly the best at his specialty, developing and coaching productive players. His experience in the 4-3 will prove useful, as many parallels can be seen with the system in place in Philadelphia.
Washburn has transformed guys like Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Jevon Kearse into elite players at one point in the National Football League. He also taught no names and made them into studs like former Eagle Jason Babin, Antwan Odom, and Tony Brown. Washburn has produced seven Pro Bowlers, who made a combined 11 trips which is a league best. Also since 1999, the Titans are 7th in sacks (474) and 5th against the run only allowing 102.5 yards a game.
The Eagles and Coach Andy Reid are extremely excited to have such a high quality coach on their staff.
“We are thrilled to add a quality defensive line coach in Jim Washburn,” Reid said Wednesday in a statement. “He had a great tenure with Jeff Fisher and the Tennessee Titans and he’ll play a big part in the development of our defensive line moving forward. He’s had a number of Pro Bowl players working under him over the years with the Titans and we’re happy to have him join our coaching staff in Philadelphia.”
This is a tremendous addition to the Eagles’ coaching staff. Last season, the Eagles were 10th in sacks but their production down the stretch diminished. The Birds lacked the ability to get pressure and get to the quarterback by the front four. They had to rely heavily on blitz packages and schemes to get the QB which allowed for the offense to expose the mismatches in the defense and move the football. As they say, a good pass defense is a good pass rush. They need to do a better job getting to the quarterback and disrupting his rhythm.
With Washburn on the coaching staff you should see an immediate impact from this defensive line rotation with his success and this young talent on the defensive line like DE Brandon Graham, DT Antonio Dixon, and the rest of these guys to produce and make this defense better.
Also there is an update on the Eagles defensive coordinator search. As there were reports earlier this week that the Eagles top candidate, Jim Mora Jr, was taking the job with the Denver Broncos. Well that is not the case.
According to reports around the league, Mora wants to talk to the Eagles management before making his final decision. That means it is down to Philadelphia and Denver.
The other candidate is secondary coach Dick Jauron who was given permission to talk to the Browns about their defensive coordinator opening. But according to sources and reports, Jauron would give the Eagles an opportunity to match the Browns offer before making a final decision. But all of this might not matter if Mora is hired. We shall see how this all shapes out in the next week.
UPDATE: According to a report by Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com, Jim Mora, Jr. has withdrawn his name from both job openings.
Mora confirmed the report via text message to Philly.com, saying, “”While I appreciate the opportunities presented by Denver and Philadelphia, at this time it’s just not the right fit.”
Mora spent last season as an NFL Network analyst, a position it now seems likely he will retain for at least another year.
This news means the Eagles are running out of names to fill the vacancy left by Sean McDermott. Jauron is looking like the clear favorite, but you have to question why the Eagles are taking so long.