After a promising start to his tenure on Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia, former Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn was unceremoniously kicked to the curb with four games left in the 2012 season.
A productive 2011 devolved into a decidedly unspectacular effort the following season before Washburn was shown the door.
In an interview on the Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, Washburn reflected on two-year tenure in Philadelphia that was cut short when he was fired by the organization with just weeks remaining in the season. Washburn isn’t quite sure why the group was unable to produce as expected in 2012 but said he was the focal point or ire over the situation.
“I know the press didn’t care for me and one writer in particular,” Washburn said. “I was the anti-Christ in Philadelphia. So anyway I got fired with four games to go and that was a bitter pill for me to take.”
“I was made out to be that way. They said stuff about me I never said. I don’t know. It’s neither here nor there. But anyhoo, I enjoyed my time up there. We almost beat Reggie White and Jerome Brown’s sack record. We missed it by a sack and a half the first year and then I don’t know. It was a strange situation up there.”
The Eagles held opponents to 324.9 yards per game (ranked eighth), 20.5 points per game (10th) and tied for the league lead with 50 sacks with the Minnesota Vikings.
The 2012 season yielded just 30 sacks for the year (25th) while opponents averaged 343.2 yards per game (18th) and 27.8 points per game, which ranked 29th in the league. Washburn was ultimately fired on Dec. 3, 2012.
“Well the first year we were eighth in total defense and led the league in sacks. After the second year … the whole thing started bad. Andy Reid’s son (Garrett), God bless him, O.D’d and died. It was tragic. It was awful. He was a great kid. After that it was a mess.”
The release of Jason Babin by the Eagles was one of the precursors to Washburn’s firing as well.
“Reid told me, he said ‘I hate him’,” Washburn said of the conversation regarding Babin. “Because he’d just run his mouth and stuff. I don’t know. I loved him. He’s like my guy.”
Washburn moved on and spent three years as a defensive line assistant with the Detroit Lions through 2015 and did some advising for the Miami Dolphins last year. However, he says he misses being around the game.
“Yeah, I do. A lot. I dream about it. Every night,” Washburn said.