• December 6, 2022

Eagles New “D” Line Coach, Jim Washburn, Is A Straight-Talker

It’s too bad Eagles new defensive line coach, Jim Washburn, wasn’t on the Birds defensive staff last year because you could tell that a straight-talker like him would have told young Sean McDermott that he was making the defensive schemes too complicated.

A couple of NFL sources had stressed to me before McDermott was fired, that the number one complaint from the Eagles front office was that the young defensive coordinator was making the defense too complex.

With the veteran defensive line coach in place this year, the Birds won’t make that mistake this time around.  “We’ll play more attack” Washburn said. ….. It doesn’t have to be complicated though. Sometimes I think we make it way too complicated – I don’t think, I know. I think we want to let the players play.”

Washburn seems like he’s gotten to a time in his life  where he’s tired of dressing up the things he says.  That could get you in trouble in a town like Philadelphia. It’s also the reason why I don’t think the veteran defensive line coach will be talking to the media on a regular basis.

I was most impressed when Washburn talked about the unselfish attitude that coaches must have in order to win.  He talked about the coaches  abandoning individual goals and focusing solely on giving the players a chance to get better.  The veteran coach said they can’t be trying to prove they’re geniuses but simply try to find ways to help the team win.

Washburn then started emphasizing speed and how he wants his defensive line to perform.

“Play fast and play hard”, Washburn said. “The faster you go, the harder you go.”  The personable veteran coach talked about wanting his guys to turn it loose each time the ball is snapped.  There will be a method to their madness, but they’ll be happy with creating chaos any way they can.

I think Washburn is a “cagey old fox”, who tries to come across as a guy who is just having a good time and not really paying attention to everything.  But the truth of the matter is I could see he was sizing all of us up as he spoke.  You could hear that Washburn is a “motivator” as he used us to talk to his players.. It was if he was talking to us and his players were eavesdropping.

He started out bragging on Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole.

“My guys at Tennessee were sick of me talking about [DE] Trent Cole. I just cut something up of him. I think he’s a bank, he’s a really good player. He’s a guy I really screwed up on when I was evaluating college. I guess I just got lazy and didn’t watch him. I think he had an ankle or leg sprain or something at the combine. But, he’s a great player to me.”

You know this will get back to Cole.

Next up he talked about last year’s first round draft pick Brandon Graham’s desire to play for him.

“He was my favorite dudes”, Washburn said. “I liked him, I spent a day with him. When I left him before the draft, he said ‘please, please, please draft me.”

Then backup defensive end Darryl Tapp, whom Washburn says wanted to play for him.

“Darryl Tapp came up to me before we played Philadelphia and said, ‘Hey Wash, I’ve been trying to get with you since the Senior Bowl when you coached me but I guess it’s not going to happen.’ I said, ‘You never know what the Lord’s got in store for you.’ And lo and behold, so it’s sort of cool.”

You know he’s knows veteran Juqua Parker.

“I coached [DE] Juqua Parker for three or four years. I do [like the personnel], I honestly do.”

Next up was Brodrick Bunkley, whom Washburn studied when he came out in the draft.

“You take [DT Brodrick] Bunkley for instance, he was at Florida State – I got some ideas about defensive line play from a dude named Mickey Andrews. He was one of the greatest college coaches and all he did was attack, and that’s what I like to do. So Bunkley did that at Florida State.”

Washburn was taking Bunkley back to his best years in football, when he dominated on the college level.  You know the veteran coach will remind the defensive tackle of those years.

I think you get a taste of how Washburn will work with his defensive line.  He’s going to treat all of them differently and look for any way he can to push, criticize, coerce, beg,  hug or compliment them to the next level.


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February 10, 2011 8:50 am

I like this guy. Probably best coach on the team including the HC.

February 10, 2011 9:02 am

I know some of GCOBB’s readers think our DLINE is the weakest part of the D, but I think we should remember what Washburn did with Babin and trust him to get the job done. I can’t wait to see what he can do with guys like Teo, Sapp and Graham. Bet he can put Graham in a position to excel – despite his short arms..

February 10, 2011 9:09 am

No doubt about it….Reid went out and got the (2) best line coaches in the league.

I like having older guys who aren’t coaching in a way to make them stand out so they can get a head coaching job…these guys just want to get the best out of the players they have.

This was a positive move for the team. Hopefully these experienced guys will have influence with the head coach….both offensive and defensive lines would benefit from our offense having a more balanced attack. It will allow the linemen to do more of the run blocking , and should keep the opposing defense from rushing all-out on every play…and with a good rushing attack it will create more time of possession for the offense and keep our defense off of the field.

OK…I know that after 12 years I am crazy to think that AR & MM would actually change a little…but it is February…I will continue to hope until the first snap of the season.

February 10, 2011 9:14 am

Philadephia fans loved another straight talker. Buddy Ryan.

What we can’t stand is the double talk and arrogant snobbish attitude of the current head coach. Crystal Ball Andy.

I think it was “greenfan” who pointed out that Castillo had Washburn teaching the other coaches. Maybe he was the first replacement hired because he will be the real defensive coordinator.

It’s like the young army captain in combat. He knows the 1st sargent has experience. He makes the final decisions but takes the input of the more experienced soilder more often than not.

Trevar Lindley was an outstanding player in the SEC. Our other cornerback may already be on the team. He has size and speed. And shut down the top WR in the SEC when percy harvin was there.

If Caldwell can get the “invisible linebacker” Ernie Sims to produce then you have bradley sims and last years rookie. Speed and size.

If washburn works his magic with “No push” Patterson and “All Bunk” Bunkley then the defensive line is upgraded.

A secondary – linebacker – defensive line upgrade without adding any personel.

It is possible. Now for Juan Castillo.

It is possible that the defensive players did not respect the opie looking Mcdermott.

Juan Castillo has already shown wisdom by letting Washburn teach. A good leader does not have to be the smartest guy in the room. He just has to know who is and listen to him. That’s why president’s have cabinets. It’s the mastermind principle “Napoleon Hill think and grow rich”.

OK Eagles. I have talked myself off the ledge. Let’s see what happens.

February 10, 2011 9:28 am

So far so good.. I can’t wait to see him coaching up these players come practice/camp time..
I’ve stated one his annoucement was made that Bunkley,Dixon & Laws can all really thrive under his type of attacking system so I think the DT position is ok, I am not sure about Patterson, I think he gets traded come draft weekend as part of a package to move up in the draft.. (If there’s a CBA in Place to allow trades)
I am still concerned about the DE position with only Cole,Parker,Tapp as healthy proven players.. If Graham can return by early 2011 that would be a bonus, but I would not count on that due to a late season knee injury/surgery.
The key will be Teo/Sapp and whoever else they pick-up.. but you really need at least 4 to 5 solid DE’s to play in today’s game to be able to keep them fresh throught a game and season
I like both Washburn & Mudd and these guys are not fooling around, they are back coaching for 1 reason, ti Win a Championship, their sense of urgency,experience and sucessful schemes should make a big difference along the Eagles Line of Scrimmage moving forward..

February 10, 2011 9:46 am

I wish they would have hired him as the DC…….. And Juan Rivera as defensive line coach…… That would have made since to some of us…… We need a straight talker who doesn’t beat around the bush……. Someone who can be a real straight foward no non-sense guy but you can have fun with him at the same time……… Something like Rex Ryan…… But you adjust to the punches and take what you have…… The Birds are moving in the right direction with the coaching staff in place!!!

February 10, 2011 9:47 am

Isn’t LB E Sims contract up and is a free-agent…
I doubt very much the Eagles offer him a a new deal..
Depending what happens with CBA, I don’t see many teams interested in him,
and maybe the Eagels retain with a cheap 1 year deal, I still think he is a goner
along with LB-Gaither, S- Mickell

February 10, 2011 9:52 am

I believe the main focus this season should be the offensive line……. I think that they will get a more balanced ratio of men who can run block and pass block as well…….. Did the colts run a zone blocking scheme when Howard Mudd was the offensive line coach???? If so it would help this offensive line….

February 10, 2011 9:53 am

@ bsm….I hope that the leadership model you laid out there is the one that Castillo follows….I don’t know the guy…hopefully it will not be about his ego needing to put his stamp on a defense, but rather letting the one “star” coach he has do his job and let the rest of the defense benefit from his franatic line play….i always considered great leadership like a snowplow, it clears the path for others to affectively do their job and gets out of the way to let them do it…hopefully Juan will see that he has a real stud coach in Washburn and gives the guy the freedom he would need

February 10, 2011 9:56 am

@Paulman….. Sims is done…….. But than again with Mcdermott’s scheme maybe a lot of guys didnt grasp it too well……. Sims was good with the Lions…. But it seems some of guys who leave philly seem to get it together with another team….. Dahani Jones, Joe Mays was solid with Denver, Matt McCoy with Tampa….. I think we should look at Stephen Tulloch from tennessee…… He’s a real force to play either side middle or outside!!!

February 10, 2011 9:58 am

BSM – Lindley can play. I’ve been saying it since the draft. I know that the front office likes the kid too. It was a bad coaching job by McDermott by not getting him on the field more. Make it simpler for the kid and just have him cover. If he didn’t get hurt his senior year he would of been a lock in round 2. His junior year he made the All-SEC team, Second Team All-American and he led the SEC with most pass breakups (11). The kid can play CB. Its a matter of getting him on the field and coaching him to be a better NFL CB.

I think he has some talent but he has to get on the field so we can see if the kid can really play at this level.

Washburns excitement is great. It will only translate to excitement in the defensive line. We will see who can really play in the trenches this year.

February 10, 2011 10:00 am

To Jroc,
Yes the Colts did run a Zone-Blocking Scheme under Coach Mudd during his time there..from past expereince, he has preferred smaller but quicker OL
and epecially along the Interior. The Eagles will have a few players that will have to lose some weight and get a little quicker on their feet (J Jackson, Peters and Nick Cole or MJG if they are re-signed)
I think Players like McGlynn,Justice,DUnalp and Howard can all learn a lot and and improve under Mudd..

February 10, 2011 10:01 am

I’m frickin excited, G. Good coaches can make an entire career.

February 10, 2011 10:09 am

@Paulman….. I appreciate that……. So this will help the run game out……. I know teams like Denver and Tennessee who are very successful with the zone blocking scheme with guys like Ruben Droghns and Travis Henry……… They had good seasons under this scheme of blocking and I believe that McCoy will be a 1500 yard rusher if and only if we could be more balanced……. The sky is the limit…… Who ever ran in a Denver uniform was guaranteed 1000+ yards!!

February 10, 2011 11:24 am

I read somewher that PhillyWill had 1200 yds for the Bronco’s back in 2002

February 10, 2011 11:49 am

no Pman..that was Dizzy that had the 1200 yards back in 2002….PW was raining 3’s for the Nuggets in the “pre-Mello” days

February 10, 2011 12:15 pm

Didn’t PW have a ‘Cornrow” back then..
(with Golden Nuggets hanging from his locks.. funny guy that PW is …

February 11, 2011 6:15 pm

Hey ozzman. Almost ALL of them are better than the HC.