The Philadelphia Eagles were looking to improve the production from their defensive line from last season, and they are now well on their way to doing so.
The team hired former Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn on Wednesday. Washburn’s contract was up after the 2010 season. A source confirmed Wasburn signed a three-year deal.
“We are thrilled to add a quality defensive line coach in Jim Washburn,” said Eagles head coach Andy Reid. “He had a great tenure with Jeff Fisher and the Tennessee Titans and he’ll play a big part in the development of our defensive line moving forward. He’s had a number of Pro Bowl players working under him over the years with the Titans and we’re happy to have him join our coaching staff in Philadelphia.”
During his tenure with the Titans, Washburn oversaw the development of many talented players including DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, DT Tony Brown, DE Jason Babin, DE Kevin Carter, DT Albert Haynesworth, DE Jevon Kearse, DE Antwan Odom, DE Robaire Smith, DT John Thornton and DT Gary Walker. Seven of those players (Vanden Bosch, Babin, Carter, Haynesworth, Kearse and Walker) earned a combined eleven Pro Bowl selections under Washburn’s tutelage. Among defensive linemen, both of those totals led the league during that span.
In 2008, the Titans led the NFL in defensive line sacks as they received sack production from nine different defensive linemen, accounting for 39.5 of the team’s 44 sacks. Entering that season, five of those nine players had never registered a sack before. For his work with the unproven talent that season, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King named Washburn his assistant coach of the year.
In Washburn’s first year with the Titans in 1999, then-rookie Jevon Kearse went from college linebacker to all-pro defensive end as he set a NFL rookie record with 14.5 sacks. In his first five years with the Titans, Kearse racked up 70 sacks and earned three Pro Bowl berths.
Prior to joining the Titans, Washburn accrued over two decades of coaching experience at Houston (1998), Arkansas (1994-97), the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League (1993), the London Monarchs of the World Football League (1991-92), the Charlotte Barons (1990), South Carolina (1983-88), New Mexico (1980-82), Livingston (1979), Lees McRae Junior College (1977-78) and Southern Methodist (1976).
A native of Shelby, NC, the 61-year-old Washburn was a four-year letterman at Gardner Webb College, where he earned his bachelor’s in physical education in 1973. He also added his master’s degree from North Carolina A&T in 1975. Washburn and his wife, Sandy, have three children; Jessica, Brady, and Jeremiah, and six grandchildren; Allison Grace, Luke, Drew, Avery Jane, Megan and Cash.
Washburn, who spent the last 12 seasons with the Titans, replaces Rory Segrest, who was relieved of his coaching duties last week.
“Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Jeff Fisher and the Titans organization for allowing a nobody like me to coach in the NFL for the last 12 years,” Washburn said.
“An opportunity came along for me to join the Eagles and I felt like it was good timing,” he added. “At this stage of my career, I’m ready to make a change. This is no reflection on the state of the Titans but just a good opportunity for me. My wife, Sandy, and I have long planned to make Middle Tennessee our home and that is still our plan. However, we look forward to moving to Philadelphia and joining a top-flight organization like the Eagles and work for a premier coach in Andy Reid.”