Washburn Out

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 42 Comments »

Jim Washburn has been fired.  Spring chicken Tommy Brasher (72) will take his place.  Maybe this move will spark the Super Bowl run.

Based on reports on Twitter from Tim McManus and Reuben Frank, Wash had become a cancer recently.  Coaches can get away with being abrasive and tough when their unit is having success and/or the team is winning.  When things fall apart, watch out.  Apparently Wash took Jason Babin’s cut very hard.  I’m sure that didn’t go over well with Andy.

A couple of other nuggets from McManus on Twitter:

* “Some teammates were annoyed by perception that Babin could do no wrong in Washburn’s eyes.”

* “Reported around time of Babin release that Trent Cole had walked out of d-line meeting. ”

* “Strange vibe coming out of locker room after game. Derek Landri seemed on edge, Trent Cole, others protectively hovering around him.”

Was Wash being too hard on his own guys?  Was he not being hard enough?  It definitely sounds like he was playing favorites.  All coaches do that to an extent, but seems to have become an issue with him.

Wash did a great job in 2011, as the DL racked up 46 sacks and a good amount of TFLs.  They lived up to the hype.  This summer the DL looked dominant.  Opposing teams in the preseason really struggled.  Expectations for the DL were great this year.  That made it all the more painful that this bunch played so ordinary.  They weren’t awful.  The sack production was bad, but as we’ve discussed, a lot goes into that.  The DL was disappointing and there is no disputing that.  Last night they were good in the 1st half, but seemed to disappear in the 2nd half.  Romo only threw 10 passes so it wasn’t like they had a ton of chances, but the pressure still wasn’t there.

2012 is quickly becoming the strangest Eagles season since 2005 and maybe of the entire Reid era.

I’ll have more on the loss later.

_


  • mcud

    I’m ready for anything at this point. Next thing you know, Lurie is going to announce Reid’s four year extension!

    • TommyLawlor

      Now that would be a shocker.

      • Julescat

        I’m not so sure. The table is being set to blame, personal problems, injuries, and bad assistants.

        • mcud

          This. And the fact is, all of those are true, even if some of them were Andy’s own fault. Let me put it this way…I think Lurie would rather have Andy + a guy like Monte Kiffin over some JAG coach. If the a good candidate is available and wants the job, then yeah, they’re going to fire him. But what if the 49ers fade and the bloom is off of Roman? If Bill O’Brien stays at Penn State? If Chip Kelly takes a different job? And so on. To Lurie, is the devil you know better than the devil you don’t?

    • Mac

      Maybe that’s why Reid has been mediocre as a HC this year… he is planning to clean house and hire all new coaches for next season!

    • Ark87

      that would be hilarious, philly would burn in the riot that follows that announcement. Hahaha. I personally would be somewhere between a sigh and a “meh”

  • NoDecaf

    We’re going to need a bigger bowl….of popcorn.

  • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

    I wonder if Mudd might step out before the season ends. I’m sure he’s not happy about his close friend getting canned.

    • TommyLawlor

      Mudd is the consummate professional. He should be fine.

      • Anders

        Also the OL has improved the last couple of weeks.

      • tag1555

        Also, four games isn’t that long of a stretch, just about a month. I’m guessing that entered into Brasher’s thinking when Andy asked him to step in for the rest of the season.

  • BobSmith77

    After each loss, sometime is forced to ‘walk the plank.’ I wonder who it will be next week although maybe the Eagles are spared since it isn’t a nationally-televised game.

  • ACViking

    Washburn’s firing is the very definition of irony. Bitter irony for AR.

  • bdbd20

    It will be interesting to see if the defense has more of a focus on the running game. Cole used to be so good against the run. I’m hoping we see what Ryans and Kendricks can really do without having to worry about those huge wide 9 gaps.

  • T_S_O_P

    Does anyone know what Andy Reid has done with Andy Reid?

    • NoDecaf

      Cue meme of weird-haired guy from history channel – “Aliens.”

  • ian_no_2

    Collinsworth or Michaels said that Mudd is retiring after the season. With the way Washburn forces the DC into the Wide 9 scheme, my first thought was that if Mudd goes, a new DC won’t want him unless he’s a Wide 9 guy.

    I sense the real issue is a tension between Bowles and Washburn over scheme, something that Castillo was able to work around. Bowles will now have a free hand to do what he wants for the rest of the season.

    There’s been a lot of scapegoating this year with Andy under the gun. They were a better team with Castillo, Washburn, and Babin.

    • ian_no_2

      for the newbies, Mudd and Washburn are friends that were hired together.

  • austinfan

    The wide 9 has struggled in Detroit, and you can’t blame Juan or Washburn there. And they have Suh and Fairley at DT. NFL is a game of adjustment, OCs have adjusted.

    I think it shows that to make any defense work, you need a comprehensive scheme – that is, a DC who understands how each aspect of his defense impacts the rest of the defense, and what he needs in terms of personnel to make it work. And continuity helps a lot, if you have a core of veterans who understand the defense, they can help you quickly integrate newcomers.

    Steelers are a great example, LeBeau is making it work despite missing Polamalu most of the year, Harrison MIA, Hampton ready for retirement, Foote and Ryan Clark (old and slow) starting, Ike Taylor at CB. They have seven starters 30 or older, yet manage to keep up with those “speedy” offenses.

    But you can also do it with a veteran DC, Denver has a top ten defense in Del Rio’s first season, it helps to have Von Miller and Dumvervil, but he also has starters like 2nd year UDFA Cliff Harris at CB, Wesley Woodyard at OLB, journeyman Mike Adams at SS, 33 year old Justin Bannan at NT, 34 year old Champ Bailey at CB, 37 year old Keith Brookings at LB, and Kevin Vickerson at DT. Scheme and execution trumpeting pure talent.

    Talent helps, 49ers, Texans are as much talent as coaching.

    Cardinals have some talented players, Washington, Campbell, Dockett, Peterson, but Rhodes, Lenon and Gay aren’t exceptional, Wilson is slowing at age 33.

    Carroll has a solid defense in Seattle, built around getting players who fit a scheme, a fast CF at FS in Thomas, and physical DBs in Browner, Sherman and Chancellor, fast LBs behind a hybrid 4-3 with 3 DTs and a RDE playing the elephant.

    Point is it’s not so much WHICH scheme, but the right DC implementing his scheme, with the GM understanding what he needs in terms of players. You can quickly turn a defense around with a few smart veteran acquisitions, some off the trash heap, a couple draft picks and keeping the right players. You SUSTAIN a defense by maintaining continuity and tweaking your scheme as weaknesses are exposed, using the draft to replace aging veterans.

    Eagles have done it the wrong way for four years, Juan was a mistake but no available DC could have made it work (Horton would have had to blow it up to install his 3-4, Allen hasn’t been able to make it work in Oakland) – Sean left a mess behind him, Washburn was a tactical error, and Howie didn’t know who he was buying groceries for (example, Teo got pilloried, now is playing well as a conventional DE in Tampa Bay).

    They should see 2013 as the year to get things right, the right HC, the right DC with a system that can be passed on (commit to something, 4-3, 3-4, whatever, get the players for it, get assistant coaches with the talent to step in if the DC gets hired as a HC in three years, etc.). Reestablish an identity and stick with it.

    • 47_Ronin

      I’m having trouble with your argument. I think which scheme is important. Reid hired Washburn to implement the W9 scheme, bringing in that scheme before hiring a DC. This likely limited the pool of potential DCs, who wants to come into a situation where the HC is dictating his staff, made worse b/c of Washburn’s personality. The Eagles went to the W9 without having adequate back 7 personnel to run the scheme (LBs and DBs and Roseman didn’t do an adequate job getting help).

      I think the successful move would have been to bring in someone with a scheme that basically fits the personnel.

      • austinfan

        The wide 9 isn’t a defensive scheme, it’s a DL scheme.

        To properly implement the wide 9, you’d need a DC to sit down and figure out how to incorporate it into an overall defensive scheme. That includes figuring out what OLB personnel you need to allow your safeties to focus on coverage, or whether you should go conventional SS and cover 1 FS, etc. Point is a defensive scheme has to work on all three levels together.

        What’s become obvious is neither Juan or Schwartz have it figured out – Juan was trying things, and if he had another year to integrate his different ideas, he might have come up with a defensive scheme built around the wide 9.

        • tag1555

          Detroit has tried to compensate for the Wide 9′s run problems by sometimes stacking their LBs. It helps, a little, but it really comes down to personnel. Schemes only get you so far, and the real test usually comes when the other teams start adjusting: this year, teams started using the TEs and RBs to chip the DEs to prevent them getting a full-speed startlike the Wide 9 requires, and Washburn didn’t have an answer for that as far as I could tell.

    • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

      Great post. Could not agree more. Defenses aren’t successful as each individual part in a vacuum, to a certain extent. Exhibit A being last year’s sack total vs our overall defense. The top defenses in this league don’t have all the best personnel in the league, they have what works for their DC, and his scheme.

      I think this line of thinking gives Roseman a big break from his past busts, and it makes me feel a lot better about our future with Roseman.

  • ACViking

    Re: Who’s the Jacobin at the Nova Care Complex?

    The revolution has begun. The blood is in the streets.

    First Danton led them. But he was guillotined in the reign of terror led by Robespierre.

    Then Robespierre himself was guillotined by the new leadership.

    _____________

    Viva Les Aigles!

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      Does this mean that Andy Reid is Marie Antoinette?

  • ian_no_2

    Where’s Rory Segrest when you need him?

    • TommyLawlor

      At a small college in Alabama.

      • ian_no_2

        I shouldn’t joke about this.

  • bdbd20

    Per your tweets Tommy, I wonder if Greg Roman is suddenly a top candidate to replace Reid. He’s done a masterful job of crafting that offense around the running game.

    • TommyLawlor

      Definitely becomes more of a thought now. Offense must be built around the RBs.

  • Ark87

    So Tommy, I was under the impression that coach Wash was really well liked by just about all of his players….that was when he had the D-line looking like the best in the league….well being terrible does change some things I understand.

    What’s your read on the situation, will the D-linemen be happier with him gone? Will they be disgruntled and throw in the towel? How do you think the D-line responds? Any guesses on where any particular individuals stood?

  • ACViking

    Hey, T-Law:

    What’s the public justification — in 50 words or less — that Jeff Lurie would use to explain why Andy Reid’s staying and his contract’s been extended?

    This season, Reid’s all but disavowed the 2011 draft and admitted his two key coaching choices in 2011, Washburn and Castillo, were mistakes.

    As head coach, Reid is the CEO — not a coordinator. His job is to pick the right assistant coaches. Pick the right players (as much as any coach can). Have not just a Plan A but Plans B, C, and D. Set the *vision* of the franchise.

    I think AR’s failed in each of those the past 3 years — certainly the past 2.

    But the blood is beginning run in the streets around Nova Care.

    That’s what CEOs do when they’re trying to keep their job. They cut out the “cancer” and “turn the page” and “implement a new plan”. (Lot’s of *meaningful* things like those.)

    So again what’s Jeff Lurie’s public rationale for keeping Andy?

    Or — and you’re on the spot — is Andy G-O-N-E for sure.

  • ACViking

    Greg Roman?

    The guy’s from Ventnor, New Jersey. C’mon, let’s be serious here.

    (By the way, the late Carroll Rosenblum — owner of the Colts and Rams — was from Atlantic City, New Jersey. AC High School, in fact.)

    • TommyLawlor

      That taints him, but if he promises to run the ball…can you forgive his past sins?

      • ACViking

        Yes, T-Law. But he has to say so publicly.

      • Ark87

        1. Does He have the irritating accent?
        2. Does he drive like an @&$#@!&?
        If so…..there is no redemption.

  • nicolajNN

    Tommy you should be jumping of joy, maybe now Tapp will be inactive!

  • TommyLawlor

    New post is up, talking about Andy and the firings.

  • ian_no_2

    Graham confirmed my suspicion that Bowles is dumping the Wide 9.

  • Neil

    I think I’m going to say this in multiple places (ok just here and igglesblog) because it’s the only explanation that makes sense to me. Can you imagine being a defensive coordinator with someone else’s system? Especially one as flawed and incoherent as Juan’s probably was? Bowles isn’t incompetent; he was just forced into the situation where he has to coordinate a defense running a system he wouldn’t run himself. A system he doesn’t believe in.

    • tag1555

      Actually, Juan was the one being given the system to work within. Remember, Washburn (and the Wide 9) were hired prior to Castillo.

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    Inthinknthe writing on this wall was the use of 5 d-linemen to stop the run. It was an admission that the wide-9 was a liability given what they were working with. I’m sure Jimbo hated that and an impasse was reached.