The Best Hire Since Jim Johnson


What a move, nabbing the best DL coach in the entire league. Here is why it’s such a FANTASTIC move:

1. The Eagles DTs fit the 1 gap scheme

2. The Eagles have a bunch of pass rushing talent that needs developing

3. Jim Washburn is a great coach and mentor to his players. Need proof? His players will follow him. 

4. A great pass rush is the easiest way to getting a great defense. 

5. The NFC East has changed and Washburn's schemes fit the new NFC East. 




1. The Eagles Defensive Tackles Are a Better Fit For a 1 Gap Scheme

Remember how we were always complaining about the 2 gap scheme, square peg round hole, etc. etc? Well its over. I'd argue that the issues with the 2 gap system were overblown but what can't be argued is that Eagles defensive tackles, more specifically Brodrick Bunkley, Trevor Laws and Mike Patterson are much better fits for a 1 gap scheme. 

Lets start with Brodrick Bunkley. At Florida State Bunkley was put into a 1 gap system and in Bunkley’s junior year (his last year), Bunkley registered 9 sacks and 25 TFL, those are incredible pass rushing numbers. To put that into context lets compare that to some other great DT prospects:

Brodrick Bunkley: 66 tackles, 9 sacks and 25 TFL

Ndamukong Suh: 85 tackles, 12 sacks and 20.5 TFL

Nick Fairley: 60 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 24 TFL

Brodrick Bunkley was an animal at the college level.

Check out this old scouting report of Brodrick Bunkley. He was projected to be an UT in the NFL in a 1 gap scheme where he could use his supreme athleticism to get after the QB but he was cast as a 2 gap NT under Jim Johnson and Pete Jenkins. Brodrick Bunkley never really developed any pass rushing moves other than a bull rush and because he wasn’t allowed to fire up field this really hurt him, in a 2 gap scheme pass rushing moves are an absolute must have and Bunkley never developed any that he could use with any consistency. Now he gets to work with the man that coached up Albert Haynesworth, Jason Jones, Tony Brown and Randy Starks. Brodrick Bunkley’s stock is up.


How many of you remember Mike Patterson as a prospect? He was small, undersized and quick; heralded as a great penetrator and nicknamed ‘Baby Sapp’. How many of you remember Mike Patterson as a rookie? As a rookie he played in a 1 gap system under Tommy Brasher and he registered 3.5 sacks, 8 TFL and forced fumble. Mike Patterson was then asked to gain weight under Pete Jenkins and while Mike Patterson was more than solid the past few years, one thing is clear, Mike Patterson was an impact player when playing in a 1 gap scheme. Here is an excerpt from his scouting report (do not click, pop ups ensue!) coming into the NFL:

Mike Patterson has been a part of arguably the best defensive line in college football the past two seasons at USC. Last year as a junior, Patterson totaled 55 tackles, 13.5 for loss, 7 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries. The 13.5 tackles for loss were the most by a USC defensive lineman since Darrell Russell in 1996, and Russell went on to be the 2nd overall pick in the draft. His sophomore season, Patterson notched 37 tackles, 11.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries. Patterson has a defensive touchdown in each of those seasons. His 3 year totals at USC are 101 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, and 9 fumble recoveries.

Patterson has amazing quickness off the line. There isn’t a defensive lineman in college football that explodes off the line the way Patterson does. Patterson’s game is penetration. He routinely slips through the offensive line to put pressure on the QB or to disrupt the running play. Patterson has the agility and quickness to stunt well, and move laterally along the line. Patterson was a high school wrestler, and it helped him learn how important leverage is. He can get up under you before you have a chance to block him. He displays the toughness and killer attitude on the field that all the great ones have. Off it, he is the exact opposite, but he still maintains the work ethic to improve his game.

Mike Patterson goes by the nickname "Baby Sapp," and it definitely fits. That’s who his game most resembles.

Mike Patterson needs to lose that weight, get back to 295 (he has to be at about 315-320 at this point, the man is huge) and start attacking gaps and getting back to what he is known for. Mike Patterson’s stock is up.


Trevor Laws has to be jumping for joy, pass rushing has never been the problem for him, the reason he is a situational player is because he didn’t fit the 2 gap scheme, he is a penetrator. He is coming off a season where he registered 4 sacks and 1 TFL as a part time player in a scheme that didn’t fit him. He is another Mike Patterson type player, in Laws’ last year at Notre Dame he notched 4 sacks, 7 pressures, 8 TFL, 3 blocked kicks and 5 passes defensed. The guy is without a doubt a great fit for a gap shooting defense.

The guys who are hurt by this move are Antonio Dixon and Jeff Owens. Antonio Dixon was a rising star as a 2 gap DT but now he will likely be used as a situational run stuffer ala Hollis Thomas when Corey Simon and Darwin Walker were around. Jeff Owens is as good as gone though, he was once a pretty decent pass rusher but after knee surgery on a torn ACL he lost a lot of his quickness and was a one dimensional run stopper and he just tore his patellar tendon, he is finished in Philly.


2. The Eagles have a bunch of pass rushing talent that needs developing

Kyle Vanden-Bosch, Jevon Kearse, Juqua Parker, Jason Babin, Dave Ball and others are all listed on Washburn’s resume. The Eagles have invested a bunch of resources into the defensive line as of late and they’ve got nothing to show for it, I guarantee that ends this year under Washburn.

Brandon Graham’s stock just went through the roof. Jim Washburn has worked wonders on players with significantly less talent than Brandon Graham. I’m dying to see what Brandon Graham can do under Jim Washburn, who knows how good Graham is going to be now.

Daniel Te’o-Neshiem is saved. The athleticism is there for Te’o and he has the work ethic but unfortunately for him Sean McDermott and Rory Segrest can’t coach a DL to save their lives.

Darryl Tapp and Trent Cole both stand to benefit from this as well.

Victor Abiamiri flashed at the end of the 2009 season before he hurt his knee and we know how physically talented he is and now for the first time in his career he will get competent coaching. It’s a long shot but Victor Abiamiri is so talented and Jim is so good at developing talent.

Ricky Sapp was as good as gone under McDermott. Ends under McDermott were asked to defend the run much better than normal ends were and the splits weren’t terribly wide on the defensive line. Now, in comes Jim Washburn who splits his ends out very wide to have them fly up the field and get to the corner and suddenly Ricky Sapp is a great fit in Philadelphia.

Look at this: Link

Pass Rush/Blitz: Natural pass rusher. Experienced standing up and with his hand on the ground. Explosive burst and good flexibility to get under the tackle's reach and around the edge. Active hands and a good swim move to get past the initial blocker. Lacks strength to bull rush NFL offensive tackles. Relies on his agility to get past the blocker. Struggles to disengage once tied up.

In other words, a perfect fit for Washburn’s reckless pass rushing, split out wide scheme that he runs. Fun fact, Sapp ran a 10.76 100 meter dash in high school, CJ Spiller ran a 10.59 in college. Sapp is a freak athlete, comparable to Jevon Kearse and now we get the guy who turned Jevon Kearse into an all-pro.

The Eagles had the talent, it was just a matter of getting someone who could coax it out of them and now they do in Jim Washburn.


3. Jim Washburn is a great coach and mentor to his players. Need proof? His players will follow him. 

Jim Washburn is loved by his players and that is a great sign. Here is your proof:

Jason Babin said "It stinks that he’s leaving. He’s the greatest position coach I’ve ever had" and "There’s been no 'Hey Jason, we want you in Philly' discussions, but it would be hard for me not to contemplate it."

That’s right, Jason Babin is more than willing to follow Washburn to Philadelphia and Babin loves Washburn so much that when Babin goes to the probowl he is bringing Washburn and his family with him. This is important because Babin is an UFA this offseason.

Also the Eagles just became the favorites to land Albert Haynesworth, Albert Breer of the NFL Network said "if they set him free, I bet Albert would walk up I-95 to Philly..." Washburn is the one guy who Albert Haynesworth loves as a coach.

And guys like Dave Ball are distraught on the Titans now, "He will definitely be missed. He had a crazy, intense passion for coaching d-line I’d never seen before"

And when Jevon Kearse needed a team after the Eagles cut him where did he go? Back to Washburn.

Players follow him, he is sort of like the Kevin Garnett of the NFL, he has a following and now that Washburn is here the Eagles might be the favorites to add Babin and Haynesworth this offseason. 


4. A great pass rush is the easiest way to getting a great defense. 

What is the easiest way to a great defense? A great pass rush. There is a direct correlation between pass rush and defense, turn over’s and scoring defense. I don’t really have the time to really investigate and prove this to you but it is. Three of the top five defenses this year were also top 5 in sacks. Just ask the 2008 New York Giants, they didn’t have a ton of talent in the back half of that defense but the pass rush covered them up. Having a great defensive line will help cover up the back half of the defense. This is common football knowledge.


5. The NFC East has changed and Washburn's schemes fit the new NFC East. 

 Gone are the days of smash mouth football in the NFC East. You all remember the glory days of the NFC East right? The times where we had to go up against this: 

Tiki Barber is gone and Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs and Clinton Portis all suck now. There are still some guys who are good like Ahmad Bradshaw and Felix Jones but they aren’t the ground and pound types of the Bill Parcells era NFC East.

Suddenly, Jason Garrett takes over the Cowboys (he likes to pass), Mike Shannahan goes to the Redskins (one of the pass happiest coaches in the league) and the Giants have Eli Manning. Things are changing fast, no longer are we the grind it out through tough, physical, in the trenches play. Now, the NFC East is a high flying offensive division where defenses come to die.

What am I getting at? Well that old system, the 2 gap system is designed to stop the run and when it was put in place the Eagles were dealing with some very powerful in division running attacks whereas now the Eagles are dealing with high powered passing attacks and pressure on the QB is paramount in terms of importance.

The teams have traded out Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Tiki Barber and Clinton Portis in favor of Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb (who was supposed to help the Redskins passing attack but in the end he didn’t), Tony Romo, Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.

The NFC East changed and Jim Washburn fits the new NFC East far better than Pete Jenkins and his disciple (that tard known as Rory Segrest) do. Not to mention he is a better coach anyways.

This is one hell of a move by Andy Reid, one hell of a move.

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