The Eagles have garnered near unanimous praise for their hiring of defensive line coach Jim Washburn. During his time with the Tennessee Titans, Washburn earned the reputation as arguably the top defensive line coach in the business. But what exactly is he doing that a guy like say... Rory Segrest wasn't? Peter King gave us a little glimpse into how hard this guy works and why he's been so successful.
"In his years coaching the Tennessee line, he'd always get lightly regarded players (Jacob Ford, Jason Jones) or veteran rejects (Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jason Babin) to produce in the pass-rush game," writes King. "One of his secrets was charting every sack in the NFL each year to determine what kind of move was used (spin, bull-rush, stunt/twist) to get to the quarterback, and where exactly the sack took place.
"So let's say Washburn's study determined that the average sacks of the teams Tennessee was going to play the next year occurred 5.5 yards behind the left guard. Washburn would then coach the following offseason to target the area 5.5 yards behind the left guard as the spot during drills his linemen would aim for. He took pass-rush science to a new level."
The crazy thing is that when you think about it, it's not really even that ingenious of a thing to do. Basically just finding out how others are having success and copying it. Where it's so impressive is the amount of work and attention to detail it must take to chart and analyze every single sack. I like that the Eagles have these types of guys in the building. If the coach is outworking the competition, you can see why his players always seem to follow suit.