It doesn’t take a deep analysis to conclude Jim Washburn’s flawed “wide nine” defensive front wasn’t getting the job done this season. The Eagles entered the season with what was thought to be one of the league’s most talented and deep defensive lines, but did little to reinforce that notion once the games kicked off. So it’s not entirely surprising that Washburn is no longer a member of the Eagles coaching staff.
It is a bit surprising, however, that the team would let him go with only four games remaining in the season. And it’s even more surprising that a lame duck coach who is all but certain to be looking for a new job come January was the same coach who made the move happen. At this point, hell, why not just play out the string and reorganize this winter?
Andy Reid offered some insight Monday that suggests the move to dismiss Washburn was about more than poor performance.
“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.”
Reports earlier in the day painted Washburn as a loner who often criticized fellow coaches, particularly former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo who Washburn apparently referred to as “Juanita”. Reports also indicated that Washburn was angry over the abrupt waiving of defensive end Jason Babin. Babin recorded 23.5 sacks since signing with the Eagles prior to the 2011 season.
“I will tell you there were just things that I was disappointed in,” Reid said. “… I just thought it was the right thing to do right now.”
Truthfully, Reid is probably doing a favor to the man who ultimately replaces him as head coach by getting Washburn out of here sooner rather than later.