Jim Washburn On Losing Mike Patterson, Accelerating Fletcher Cox

May 22, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn walks off the field after practice during organized team activities at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

As much as we look forward to hearing from Howard Mudd when the Eagles offensive coaches met the media, it's really the same with Jim Washburn, Mudd's counterpart on defense. Washburn had a lot to talk about with the big loss of Mike Patterson and the big addition of Fletcher Cox to his unit this offseason.

Wash says the main thing he's going to miss about Patterson is not having to worry about him.

"He always plays in the right place and does the right thing, and he always plays hard and knows what to do. This is a constant. You turn on the film and wonder how [DT] Fletcher [Cox] or [DE] Vinny [Curry] is going to play or whatever, and Mike was the old solid guy that is always there. That's a comfort to a coach to know that he's always going to do the right thing. Mike Patterson might be the one of the best people I ever met. He doesn't have to come to these rookie meetings at night and the afternoon, but he's there. I said, ‘Mike, you don't have to be there,' and he said, ‘I like to be there.' He likes football and he's a good one. We miss him, now."

He was asked whether the loss of Patterson means the development process for first round pick Fletcher Cox will be accelerated?

"He's going to be accelerated anyway. He's a good player and he has to play. It's the same thing where we're going to have the four tackles be starters, and then somebody comes out first. He's a mature guy anyway. I spent time with him at our facility, took him out to eat, and found out who he was. He's mature and he's savvy. I gave him a riddle two nights ago, the hardest riddle I had, and the next morning he told me he had the answer. I said, ‘You google'd it, didn't you?' and he said, ‘Yeah I did, I cheated.' He's clever and he's smart."

I love this guy.

Finally, he was asked bout finally being on the same side as his old friend and rival Howard Mudd.

Now, to actually see him, all of the stuff that I used to think was so ungodly complicated actually wasn't. All along, it looked so difficult. He's the best assistant coach. The best thing about Howard coming here is that I don't ever have to coach against Howard ever again. He's so much better than I was, it's a joke. He probably liked going against me."

For those that don't know... Mudd ran the offensive line of the Colts while Washburn headed up the defensive line of their division rival Titans for the better part of a decade. The two grew to be great friends over those years.

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