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Eagles Looking at Titans DL Coach

Word leaked on Tuesday night that the Eagles have been talking to Titans DL coach Jim Washburn about coming to Philadelphia.  He would come here as the DL coach, a position that opened up when Rory Segrest was fired recently.

Getting Washburn would be a great move.  He is considered one of the best DL coaches in the NFL.  Washburn has developed quite a few good linemen in his time with the Titans.  Here is a blurb from his Titans bio:

Over the years, Washburn has demonstrated the ability to develop talent, molding players like Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jevon Kearse, John Thornton, Robaire Smith, Antwan Odom, Kevin Carter, Albert Haynesworth and Tony Brown into top-flight producers.  During his tenure, four of his players (Kearse, Vanden Bosch, Carter, Haynesworth) have earned a total of nine Pro Bowl selections.

One thing to keep in mind.  Washburn isn't a magician.  He can't turn marginal players into sack machines.  His best players in Tennessee were usually high picks.  That's okay, though.  The Eagles have talent up front.  Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, and Brandon Graham were all 1st round picks.  Antonio Dixon has shown big time potential.  Trent Cole is a proven commodity, but even he can get better.  Line play for the Eagles has been "okay", but it needs to be better.  Washburn should absolutely be able to handle that task. 

The hiring of Washburn would be interesting schematically.  Eagles DEs have been taught to rush up the field under control.  They play the run on the way to the QB.  Tennessee lets their ends fly upfield and go straight for the QB.  You would think the hiring of Washburn would mean the Eagles are likely to adapt to concepts that he prefers.  The DEs would love this change. 

I'm also interested by how Washburn would rotate players.  He did a lot of that during his time with the Titans.  The Eagles rotated the DL quite a bit in 2006.  You may remember that there were two full lines at the beginning of that season.  One group played for a series and then sat for the next.  Injuries put that idea to a halt by the middle of the season.  Most of the Reid era has been starting players getting a vast majority of the snaps with role players mixed in. 

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There is no real update on the search for a defensive coordinator.  Jim Mora is talking to Denver.  Dick Jauron is talking to the Browns.  The name Mike Trgovac has started to get mentioned quite a bit, but he's still busy coaching the Packers DL.  Eagles fans might be wise to root against Green Bay this weekend, assuming Reid is interested in hiring Trgovac. 

I've been asked by quite a few people who I prefer.  Of the trio I like Trgovac the best.  He is the most accomplished (defensively) of the group.  Jauron and Mora each got head coaching gigs, but neither guy has ever built a top flight defense, let alone maintained it.  Trgovac did that in Carolina, granted he did have John Fox helping out. 

I do think Mora makes some sense.  It sounds like some players grew to dislike Sean McDermott.  Mora is very much a players coach.  Remember seeing him sniffing ammonia capsules with his players on the sidelines before games?  That's not a great image for a head coach, but the players loved that side of Mora.  He felt almost like one of them.  Getting a guy like him would help to repair any damaged or strained relationships, if they truly exist. 

Jauron is the safest choice, but my least favorite.  He knows the team.  He has experience.  Players do love him.  I just don't see him as the kind of compelling figure I want running the Eagles defense.  The fact that Reid didn't hire him immediately says to me that the Eagles see him more as a fall-back plan than key target.

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