Eagles Fire Washburn, Bring Brasher Back

The Eagles announced early Monday morning that they’ve fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn and added Tommy Brasher.

“Jim is a fine football coach and we appreciate the efforts he gave to this team over the past two years,” Reid said in a statement. “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 was on the staff for 28 games. He implemented the wide-nine up front and had success in his first season, as the Eagles tied for the league lead with 50 sacks, 46 of which were by defensive linemen.

But this year has been a different story. The Eagles added resources to Washburn’s unit – including first-round pick Fletcher Cox and second-round pick Vinny Curry. They also got Brandon Graham back from injury and traded for linebacker DeMeco Ryans to help with problems against the run. But the defense has managed just 20 sacks through 12 games, tied for 27th.

“I’ll be crushed, hell I’ll quit if we ain’t a whole lot better,” Washburn said back in July during Eagles training camp. “They need to fire my ass if we ain’t better. We should be a lot better.”

The move is especially suspicious considering there are only four games left in the season, and the Eagles are 3-9. Last week, the team released defensive end Jason Babin, who was close with Washburn both in Tennessee and in Philadelphia. Tim reported last week that Trent Cole recently walked out of a defensive line meeting.

Washburn was hired in 2011 before the Eagles named a defensive coordinator, which ended up being Juan Castillo. Castillo was fired earlier this year in favor of Todd Bowles. Since that move, opposing quarterbacks have completed 76.3 percent of their passes against the Eagles with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Last year, during a 38-20 loss to the New England Patriots, Washburn and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg reportedly got into a heated exchange on the sidelines.

Washburn is close friends with offensive line coach Howard Mudd, who is expected to retire at the end of the season.

Brasher, meanwhile, coached the defensive line on Reid’s staff from 1999 to 2005. Reid is scheduled to address the media Monday at noon.

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  • http://twitter.com/THEKID_ Mike Jehle

    I love how for 14 years Reid always says its “on him.” Yet he takes no responsibility himself now firing his second hand picked coach in mid-season of an already lost season.
    Just comical… I am so ready for the Reid Era to end…

    • http://twitter.com/DickJefferson82 Richard

      He isn’t firing anyone. I am sure it is Roseman.

    • Kimbafuzz

      I think he’s being told to fire these people.

  • Phillysubsailor

    Washburn and Babin sittin’ in a tree…K-I-S-S-I-N-G

  • Big Red Must Go

    Reid is such a douche, he will fire the whole coaching staff in order to avoid being fired himself. This team and this fat slob have reached new lows. If only we had an owner who was a man….even Mrs Lurie would have the guts to terminate tubby…..this is brutal…

    • http://julianivey.com/ Julian Ivey

      I really don’t think AR is making decisions anymore. Lurie, Roseman and the other guy in the skybox last night looked like they are in full evaluation mode.

  • Johnny Domino

    Warm up a rocking chair for Mudd while you’re at it, he’s a lame duck anyway.

  • Myke Lowery

    so does the hiring of Tommy mean that he stays on when new staff comes in?

    • FMWarner

      I think it’s just an old Reid guy who’s sitting on his couch coming back to help Reid out for a few weeks and picking up a few checks. Nothing more.

  • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

    Oh, that makes sense. The secondary is horrible, fire the defensive line coach. The offense is putrid, fire the defensive coordinator. Ted Williams better watch out if Coleman and Allen don’t start performing better.

  • Kimbafuzz

    I just think Lurie is making Andy do all the dirty work. Since these were Andy’s decisions, Lurie is making Andy fire these men during the season. Each week, it’s someone else.

    • Joe D

      That’s absolutely what it is. I love how Lurie is having Reid can all these guys but the biggest problem is still the fact that wirey-haired idiot brought Reid back. He still made this mess. He needs to be a man and fire Reid now. Enough is enough.

      • whiskeybill

        Who do you want coaching this team? You want Marty or Bowles as interm head coach? Neither of them really inspire much of anything except ineptitude right now. Reid is going to be the head coach for the rest of the season then he is gone.

        • Joe D

          I don’t care who coaches it because the season has been over for a while. So instead of hitting us over the head with these stupid little firings just take care of the big problem.

        • Average__Joseph

          So the downside of firing Andy Reid now is the team plays poorly, players quit playing hard and they lose…and how is this different than now?

          • whiskeybill

            Honestly the downside is firing Andy leads this team to get their heads out of their asses and win a game or 2 screwing us out of a top pick. This team is in freefall and if Andy was capable of stopping it then it would have happened already.

          • Dynamite

            Ha, beat me to the punch by a minute. Couldn’t agree more.

          • Average__Joseph

            I understand your point but Andy is trying to win any game and in your own words Bowles and Marty are don’t “really inspire much of anything except ineptitude.” I’ll take a chance with ineptitude losing the rest of our games than Reid trying to stop his losing streak.

          • Dynamite

            The downside of firing Andy is if the team responds. Keep the status quo for now. Let the young guys get reps and play hard, but come up short in the end. I’m sick of pointless late season runs hurting the draft pick. That 4 game winning streak at the end of last season really translated to this season huh? Please.

          • Average__Joseph

            Reid wants to stop his losing streak, that makes him dangerous to a better draft pick. You really feel that Bowles or Marty in 4 game can light a fire under these players? I’d rather take a chance with either or these two average to bad coordinators taking the reins than a pretty good head coach being deperate to not lose 12 in a row.

  • The Guru

    I am absolutely shocked that hiring a defensive line coach before hiring a coordinator didn’t work out. RIP Wide 9…

  • Philly_Bigz

    …Lurie allowed Reid to get in this mess and is now putting him thru hell having him fire mistake after mistake…lol

  • 1972

    who cares at this point/ what message is it sending? U wanna send a message fire the HEAD COACH!!! alert me when that happens

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    Well, we all knew Washburn was gone once they let Babin go. But now? that seems suspect. There are a couple of ways to look at this…one with Lurie and crew calling the shots now OR Reid might not be as gone as we think. Who brings a guy back that was previously on their coaching roster when you’re out the door? What guy would take that gig? I mean the running assumption is that a new coach will want his own guys. It’s curious. Very curious.

    • The Guru

      Or Todd Bowles finally said, “It’s him or me because this defensive philosophy is absurd”…

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        But that still suggests Bowles would be the guy next year. Which continues to suggest that Reid would be the guy next year. Bowles is his guy.

        • The Guru

          Reading way too deep. That just suggests Bowles had enough of running his defense around the Wide 9. To get another job, he wants to run his defense his way for a month. They’re all gone at the end of this year.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            This doesn’t yield him another job. His stock may rise slightly b/c folk may say it wasn’t him it was the scheme he was forced to deal with. He’s not going to make any major changes to the system this late in the season with just 4 games left. Which is why I was basically saying I don’t think Bowles had anything to do with this decision.

          • The Guru

            He’s not going to make any major changes? They just abandoned the Wide 9!!! Do you think before you speak?

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            *rolls eyes* Do you lack the ability to read and comprehend. The defense isn’t going to learn an entirely new system in 4 games. The fired Washburn, they didn’t “abandon” the Wide 9. My guess you still see elements of it as the season finishes out because it’s what they’ve been doing all year. There will be changes sure, but at this point you have to work with what’s been in place for 12 games NOT have an all new philosophy for four.

          • The Guru

            I’m losing interest in trying to teach you this game son. Abandoning the Wide 9, which Brasher came out and said yesterday, is a MAJOR change to the defense. You’re going to see a different defense. Perhaps you just don’t know enough to pick it out? Just a thought…

          • The Guru
          • UncleCarm

            I agree Matt. I don’t know if Bowles is any good or not because he was asked to take over Castillo’s defense and not make waves. That hasn’t worked out very well. I know if he changes the defense to his own system at this stage has little chance of success, but they are not having success now anyway, so the change should be seamless. Our secondary is afraid to hit anybody, and they are usually in the wrong position to be close enough to hit anybody anyway. They look like ballerinas out there.

        • Average__Joseph

          He will not be back. Unfortunately for Bowles, perception is reality; he will only be able to get a position coach job somewhere and it will be years (5+) before he is ever mentioned as a DC or HC candidate.

  • borntosuffer

    Suspect? They put a ton of money into that line – no position should be stronger. At this point, I wouldn’t blame management if they wanted another line coach there to see how much of it is coaching vs. the talent. Lots of decisions to make before next season. The D-line is a big part of that.

  • TheGhostofNormVanBrocklin

    I have a sinking suspicion that Andy Reid isn’t going anywhere after this season. Lurie has every built-in excuse in the book to bring him back – the tragedy his family suffered right before the season, the crippling injuries at key positions, the idea that Reid can mold Foles into the next franchise QB, etc., etc., etc. The only other thing that Reid could possibly do to save his job is to agree to turn over control of all off field decisions and personnel back to the front office…which is exactly what you’ve been seeing. Castillo, Washburn, Babin – they were all guys Reid wanted and brought in. The front office is cleaning house and showing some muscle but it will still be AR on the sidelines next season. Mark my words. Lurie is not going to want to pay AR $5 million to sit on a beach and eat cheeseburgers. Plus I get the idea that he generally likes Reid, he just doesn’t like the poor decisions he’s made off the field that have led to this tire fire of a season. I would not be surprised at all if Lurie announces that Reid is coming back but the majority of his staff (including Marty) are gone.

    • Sensei

      I would have to agree with you on this one

    • Septhinox

      You make good points, but no, he has to fire him now. Can you imagine the fan apathy if Lurie brought Reid back next year? The one thing that Lurie will not stand is fan apathy. It’s ok to boo, but to have the entire stadium empty like it’s Tampa or Cincinatti is not acceptable.

      • meh1988

        I mean do you think that’d be a bad thing? If Reid is still here but just not in charge of personnel anymore? And with a new D and o cordinator not picked by Andy? Frankly, I’d be ok with that. Andy’s a good coach, just a bad office guy.

        His mentor was Holmgren. Alot of folks say the same thing about him. I’d be willing to give it a shot. Can’t get much worse.

    • HowieDon’tKnow

      AR is gone. The real question is whether we’ll bring in a GM who knows something about talent. Our talent is the problem. HR can’t pick ‘em. It’s like a kid’s test – which person does not belong at the table: Ozzie, Colbert, Belichick, Reese, Ted Thompson, Mickey Loomis or HR? He’s a joke and so is our talent. JL tried the Belichick model for a front office, appears to have changed it in 08, but populated the football decision making positions with unqualified sycophants. Defensive backfield flat can’t play. Defensive line is overrated. OL has too little depth (check out Ravens 2nd round pick in 2012, taken one after Curry, a good tackle who has started every game).

    • Bob A

      I have the same feeling. It’s absurd, because they’ll lose fans by the thousands, but he’s been allowed to proceed as though nothing is different. maybe Jeff is just giving him enough rope to hang himself.

  • Myke Lowery

    so did wash show up and found his stuff dumped in the parking lot like when Wesley Snipes woke up outside after getting cut in the movie major league?

  • BQNinja

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/46378/eagles-got-sick-of-jim-washburns-act

    According to that, apparently this is because Washburn has been disruptive and became worse after Babin got the axe.

  • Joe D

    I love the whole “Who is going to coach this team?!” philosophy to not firing Reid now. Oh I’m sorry have they been playing great football lately that someone else is going to be an interim and make this team look worse? Is it possible to get worse? Will anyone care if they do?

    • meh1988

      Reid is continuing to coach this season because he has been the best coach this team has ever had for more than a decade and deserves the respect of being allowed to see this season through at the very least. Though honestly, the way some of you all dump on him like he beat your mother or something would make me want to quit right now.

      So stop being an ass and kicking a man when he’s down. You’ll get your wish: Andy will be gone soon. You just better hope we find a good coach to replace him. Careful what you wish for…

      • Joe D

        Ah yes the careful what you wish for line. As if I don’t understand what Reid has meant for this franchise. Also as if I don’t understand the fact this team still has an empty trophy case.

      • FMWarner

        Couldn’t agree more. You’ll get your wish. There’s no way he comes back. Isn’t that enough? Why do people feel the need to be mean and nasty and want to embarrass him by firing him before the season ends out of spite?

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    Loose cannon sent overboard. Enjoyed watching backup corners for Steelers/Ravens making plays when our starters cannot even tackle running receivers. Pollard is a good-looking safety but our talent machine did not consider it important to pursue. Ship is badly broken and AR not entirely at fault. Image of HR sitting next to JL conjured up spectre of Vinny Cerrato. With our talent machine, high-pick from this year’s disaster will likely be wasted. Maybe we can pick another Jarret, Watkins, Marsh, Nesheim or any the other guys who can’t play.