Eagles Fire DL Coach Jim Washburn, Bring Back Former Coach Tommy Brasher

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2012

Another day, another coach fired by the Philadelphia Eagles. This time it's defensive line coach Jim Washburn who is being shown the door. 

From Eagles Insider:

#Eagles dismiss Jim Washburn if duties as defensive line coach. Bring back former defensive line coach Tommy Brasher

— Eagles Insider (@EaglesInsider) December 3, 2012

Andy Reid had the following comments on the move (via Kelly Bayliss of NBC 10 Philadelphia):

Jim is a fine football coach and we appreciate the efforts he gave to this team over the past two years. However, I determined that it was in the team’s best interest that we move in a different direction in terms of trying to maximize the production of that position group. We look forward to having Tommy Brasher back on board to work with the defensive line.

Washburn famously brought the Wide 9 defensive line scheme with him to Philadelphia in 2011, which was designed to improve the Eagles pass rush. It seemed to work last year; Trent Cole finished with 11 sacks and Washburn favorite Jason Babin finished with a whopping 18.

That wasn't the case this year, however, as the Eagles struggled to generate a pass rush and many fans and pundits began poking holes in the Wide 9 scheme. The alignment puts a lot of pressure on the linebackers to fill in the gaps created by the wide alignment of the defensive ends and requires dominant defensive tackles to clog the middle of the formation.

Simply put, many folks in Philadelphia didn't feel the Eagles had the personnel to run the alignment. 

It came to a head this year when the disappointing Babin was cut by the Eagles. That was a move that apparently wasn't popular with Washburn—the two are extremely close—and may have foreshadowed his eventual dismissal.

From Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Just got this from one #Eagles coach: Jim Washburn "had become a cancer." As I wrote last week, DL coach was unhappy when Babin was waived.

— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 3, 2012

And so continues the Eagles season of releasing old remnants of the Andy Reid era, surely all leading up to the head coach's ouster this offseason. First it was defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Then it was Senior Vice President of Communications Rob Zeiger and Chief Marketing Director Tim McDermott.

The dominoes continue to fall in Philadelphia, now a disappointing 3-9 on the season. Wholesale changes are expected at the end of the season.

For now, the Eagles are offering fans previews on an almost weekly basis at this point of what's to come. This week, it was Washburn.

Who's next?


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are glad I'm not a coach on the Eagles right now.

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