After the Eagles released Jason Babin last week, Jim Washburn had a message for his defensive linemen.
Anything can happen, so play the final five games as hard as you can.
At the time, Washburn was unaware that he’d be gone before those final five games played out.
“After Babin left, he said that anything can happen, so let’s just play the hardest five weeks that we can,” said defensive end Brandon Graham Monday morning. “Whatever happens, happens. He said ‘I’m not going to stop being who I am. I’m not going to stop coaching as hard as I do. Whatever happens, happens.’”
Babin and Washburn were close from their Tennessee days. Graham made it sound like the defensive line coach was not consulted before his prize pupil was let go.
“I feel like that hurt him a little bit because from what I heard, he didn’t know that they were releasing him until he was actually gone,” Graham said. “I know that was one of his guys, and we all loved Babin while he was here. But I think it did get to him.”
Graham found out about Washburn’s firing Monday morning, but did not have a chance to talk to him yet. After a 1.5-sack performance Sunday night, he said he was just starting to thrive in Washburn’s system.
“Coach Wash, he was all about trying to help the team win,” Graham said. “He just always coached us so hard, and he cared about his group so hard that he always wanted us to do good and get sacks like we did our first year when he was here. Lead in sacks and win games, because he said if you sack the quarterback a lot, you’re going to win most of those games.”
Going forward, Graham will take his cues from new defensive line coach Tommy Brasher the final four games. He said he met Brasher Monday morning, and the Eagles won’t be using the wide-nine the rest of the way.
“They’re letting people go. It’s a tough season right now. They’re trying to get some W’s,” Graham said. “The people they got here ain’t getting the job done like they want to, so that’s the beast of the business.”