The latest confident proclamation out of Philadelphia comes from Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who’s so confident his group will improve that he’s willing to stake his job on it.
Washburn said that last year, the lockout affected the defense a great deal in the early portion of the season, and that by late in the year they began to show that they’re among the best units in the league. This year, he sees a full offseason giving the Eagles’ defensive line a chance to be great.
“We have real good talent,” Washburn said, via PhiladelphiaEagles.com. “We started figuring it out at the end and it ought to be a whole lot better. I’d be crushed, hell I’d quit if we’re not a whole lot better. They need to fire my ass if we’re not better. We should be a lot better.”
Washburn said the difference between the players’ understanding of the defense this year and their understanding of the defense at this time last year is night and day.
“No excuses, but they didn’t know my name when we met up here last year,” Washburn said. “Golly, I look at the first couple games, all the plays that we screwed up last year on the run, especially the run. Golly, I looked at Atlanta and St. Louis and it’s painful to watch our technique . . . No excuse, it’s just life. The other teams were in the same situation. . . . We ought to be so much better. There’s no way – we’ve got to be a lot better.”
And if they’re not a lot better in 2012, Washburn is the first to say he doesn’t deserve to be their coach in 2013.