Not many people thought Brandon Graham would still be an Eagle in 2015. After the team traded up to pick him in 2010, injuries and coaching […]
Now with the Jaguars, the defensive end was asked if he was concerned being waived by the Eagles might mean the end of his football career.
“That was probably their approach because they don’t have amicable splits with people,” Babin said, per Adam Caplan. “You saw how dirty they did [Jim] Washburn with leaking out the false stories and the way they talked about him on the way out. It’s kind of a big socialistic system that they have. I didn’t really care. I’m only going to worry about what I can control, and that’s practicing hard, working hard and playing hard on Sunday.”
But at some point, you just can’t argue with the numbers.
Through six games with Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator and Jim Washburn as defensive line coach, the Eagles were allowing quarterbacks to complete 76.3 percent of their passes – a historically bad number.
But in the last two games, since Andy Reid fired Washburn and added Tommy Brasher, the Eagles’ defense appears to be much-improved, limiting Josh Freeman and Andy Dalton to just 44.3 percent completions. Against the Bengals, they did not allow a single completion of more than 19 yards.
The rookie linebacker paused a beat, gave a quick laugh, then turned to Jamar Chaney and said, “Should I answer that?”
He already had.
Sunday’s game against the Bucs was the Eagles’ first in two years without defensive line coach Jim Washburn and the wide-nine.
Tommy Brasher was hired on Monday and had three days of practice to switch up the Birds’ scheme up front. The Eagles struggled to get to Josh Freeman for much of the day, although the defense as a whole played better. Below is the player-by-player breakdown of sacks, hurries (tracked by the team’s coaches), opportunities (Pro Football Focus) and pressure percentage (frequency with with which each player notched a sack or hurry).
In the next couple of days, we’ll try to take a look at how the linemen were aligned up front with the All-22.
After the game, Andy Reid announced that the team was parting ways with Jim Washburn, although he admitted that the game’s results had little to do with his decision.
Meanwhile, Brandon Graham got the start for Jason Babin, and Vinny Curry was active for the second time this season, as the Eagles went with a 10-man rotation.
Here’s the weekly look at production. Hurries (and tackles) come directly from the Eagles’ coaching staff. Pass-rushing opportunities are tracked by Pro Football Focus. And the last column is from me – a measure of how often each defensive lineman notched either a sack or a hurry.
“Me and Wash had a good relationship,” Bowles said. “Wash is a good man, and he’s a good coach. He was never a problem for me.”
Did Bowles have any input into Andy Reid’s decision to let Washburn go?
Cullen Jenkins painted a different picture of Jim Washburn than the one that has been circulating this week. Rather than an out-of-control, divisive figure, Jenkins sees his former defensive line coach as a misunderstood motivator with the best of intentions.
“Wash was a good coach. He just wanted the best for us,” said Jenkins. “People may not agree with his ways or saw what his goals were for us — I’m talking about people from the outside looking in — but Wash was a good coach. He had us motivated and playing hard.”
Tim and Sheil get into the firing of Jim Washburn and what it means for Andy Reid. Plus, some thoughts on Nick Foles being named the starter, Bryce Brown‘s emergence and the defense’s collapse.
You can listen to Birds 24/7 Radio on 97.5 The Fanatic from 6 to 7 every Monday. Or stop by Smith’s at 19th and Chestnut, where the guys broadcast live.
There was a tension that seemed out of place, even for a team that had just dropped its eighth straight. Some employees and players appeared on edge. When an emotional Derek Landri entered the room, he was instructed not to say a word. Trent Cole stood by him at his stall, almost protectively. The defensive line was gathered close.
Andy Reid didn’t want to go into full detail, but he made it pretty clear Monday afternoon that Jim Washburn’s firing had to do with more than just the defensive line’s inability to get to the quarterback.
“I’m not going to sit here and go into great detail on the whys that I’m doing it, other than I think it’s the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles football team that I made that move,” Reid said. “This was a move that I made. Nobody else made this move. And that’s important for you to understand. This isn’t a move to save my job. That’s not what that is. This is a move that I think needed to be done now so I did it now.”
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.