A Tennessee Titans Coaching Spotlight: Defensive Line Coach Jim Washburn
If you get the chance to make it out to Baptist Sports Park for a Titans training camp session this summer, make sure you dress accordingly and drink lots of water. If you have children though, make sure you take a pair of earmuffs, because Jim Washburn (frighteningly pictured above) doesn't care who's listening.
The 10-year defensive line coach of the Titans has quietly put together one of the most impressive resumes in NFL coaching history, as the Titans line ranks ninth in the NFL over that period and fifth in the AFC in sacks. He is responsible for coaching some of the most prolific linemen in the league (Albert Haynesworth, Jevon Kearse) and turning rookies and other teams' cast-offs into treasures for the Titans (Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jason Jones). Many guys that have left for big paydays via free agency after big seasons with the Titans have failed elsewhere (Antwan Odom, Travis LaBoy), which is just another testament to the work Washburn does.
Year in and year out, the Titans boast one of the strongest defensive lines in the league. While much of that can be credited to some of the great players that have come through the organization over the past decade, just as much credit can be given to coach Washburn.
The task he faces this year may be his greatest though. With the loss of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, Washburn is now without one of the most disruptive players in the league. As good as Washburn is, "Big Al" made his job that much easier as he was constantly facing double, and even triple teams. To help offset some of that loss, the Titans went out and signed DT Javon Haye (a former Vanderbilt Commodore) from Tampa Bay and then drafted DT Sen'Derrick Marks out of Auburn in the second round of the draft.
Known for his feiry personality and colorful use of the English language, Jim Washburn is the epitoe of "old school". His no nonsense attitude and ability to coach up players has made him one of the most important, albeit unheralded, figures on the Tennessee Titans coaching staff. With a tall task yet again this season, Washburn may be one of the only D-Line coaches in the league that can help make "L.A.A." (Life After Albert) seem somewhat seamless. If they can do this successfully with the depth that they have created at the position, the Titans should be as good, if not better in that department next season. Scary thought...
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