Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eagles name Jim Washburn defensive line coach

The Philadelphia Eagles have named ex-Titans assistant Jim Washburn as their new defensive line coach.

Washburn replaces Rory Segrest, who was relieved of his duties last week.

“We are thrilled to add a quality defensive line coach in Jim Washburn,” said 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.”

Washburn has spent the last 12 seasons as the defensive line coach of  Tennessee. Since joining that post in 1999, the Titans have ranked seventh in the NFL in sacks (474), while ranking fifth against the run, limiting opponents to just 102.9 rushing yards per game during that span.

During his tenure with the Titans, Washburn oversaw the development of many talented players including Kyle Vanden Bosch, Tony Brown, Kevin Carter, Albert Haynesworth,  Antwan Odom, Robaire Smith, John Thornton, Gary Walker and ex-Eagles Jevon Kearse and Jason Babin. 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 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.

“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. 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.”

No comments: