Defensive line coach Jim Washburn was fired Monday, the most recent shakeup for the sinking Philadelphia Eagles.
Coach Andy Reid dismissed the abrasive Washburn just hours after the team’s 8th straight loss, 38-33 at the Cowboys. Former defensive line coach Tommy Brasher will replace Washburn.
This was the 3rd major move on defense in 7 weeks. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was fired on October 16. Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin was released last week.
The Philadelphia Eagles (3-9) are mired in their worst unlucky run since 1968 and looking for answers after opening the season with Super Bowl hopes.
”I think it’s the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles and this football team that I made that move,” Reid expounded. ”This was a move that I made. Nobody else made this move. This isn’t a move to save my job. This is a move that I think needed to be done now, and so I did it now.”
Reid is assured of just his 3rd losing season in 14 years, and might be training his final games in Philadelphia. Owner Jeffrey Lurie already related the Philadelphia Eagles wanted to make ‘’substantial improvement” after going 8-8 last year and that a similar record would be ”unacceptable.”
Regardless, Reid has one year left on his deal and is proceeding with vital choices. After firing Washburn, Reid related rookie Nick Foles would be the starting QB the remainder of the season, even when Michael Vick returns from a concussion.
Washburn’s dismissal wasn’t totally a surprise. Washburn was known for having a strong personality and being confrontational with other coaches. He had to be separated from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the sideline in a game against New England last November.
One player, talking on condition of anonymity, announced that Washburn regularly was ”disrespectful” to other employees, especially Castillo. Basketball spreads
”I would just make it clear that there were things that I was disappointed in and as time went on I just thought that it was the decent thing to do right now for this football team,” Reid said. ”It was just something that I had been pondering and working through.”
Washburn was employed on Jan. 19, 2011 after 12 seasons in Tennessee where he made a reputation as amongst the top positions coaches in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles hoped his wide-nine defensive line alignment would produce lots of force on opposing quarterbacks. It probably did initially. The scheme helped the Eagles tie for the league lead with 50 sacks last season, but has ended in only 20 so far this year.
Washburn’s linemen accounted for 46 of those 50 sacks in 2011, including 18 from Babin and 11 from Trent Cole. But Babin had 5 1/2 this year before he was cut last Tuesday, just 1 1/2 years into a $28 million, 5-year agreement. Babin was claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Washburn was not happy with the decision to part with Babin and allegedly promised to give up. So Reid fired him.