In an extended interview with Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, former NFL defensive line coach Jim Washburn spent time reflecting on his career. Washburn praised some of the players he coached, admitted to issues he had with others and told stories of his 17-year career coaching in the league.
The one player that Washburn spoke highest of was former defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Vanden Bosch played five years under Washburn with the Tennessee Titans from 2005-09.
“He just came out and he’s just special,” Washburn said. “There’s nobody like him. I don’t care. You can say Walter Payton, Jerry Rice running those hills… they weren’t any more dedicated than this guy. This guy was different. He came out and had 12.5 sacks his first year (in Tennessee). Boy, I tell you what, he’s special.”
Vanden Bosch recorded 38.5 sacks during that five-year stint with the Titans, which included 12.5 sacks in 2005 and 12 sacks in 2007. Vanden Bosch signed with Tennessee after a middling four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals after being selected in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
“You know why? Cause there isn’t another,” Washburn said of the motor and drive Vanden Bosch had. “The scouts would come in and go like this ‘oh I got a kid at Stanford, he plays like Vanden Bosch.’ I said ‘don’t embarrass yourself. Why do you say something that stupid for? You make yourself look bad cause there ain’t nobody that plays like him.'”
Washburn didn’t try to take any credit for turning Vanden Bosch into the player he became with the Titans. He said he just let him do what he does best.
“I didn’t do anything but let him play,” he said.
Vanden Bosch finished his career with 58 sacks and 20 forced fumbles in 12 seasons before retiring after the 2012 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times in his career in 2005, 2007 and 2009.