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.