Former Eagles D-line coach Jim Washburn: “I was the anti-Christ in Philadelphia”

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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.

20 responses to “Former Eagles D-line coach Jim Washburn: “I was the anti-Christ in Philadelphia”

  1. There were reports he’d openly mock and second-guess Reid’s terrible choice at D.C., Juan Castillo. Babin seemed like human trash at times and was not a team player. Washburn sold out for sacks at the expense of Run D.

    It’s not as if Philly alone could break this one trick pony.

  2. This is an article that needs, in dire fashion, the other side of the story to be told.

    This man was no victim of anything during his time in Philly.

    Babin, for example, was the ultimate care-for-only-yourself player. There were obvious examples all over where it would be an obvious running down yet he’d bypass the back and go straight for the QB even though it was a running play. That guy cared only about himself and sacks, nothing about team. But they were all getting like that. So Andy cut the cord.

    And anyone who acts like he is an innocent victim of media is usually actually the problem. Media is easy to call out for their cheapness and quite frankly lies they tell. But there’s also something to the expression, where there’s smoke there’s probably a lot of fire.

    So just remember that.

  3. actually washburn stated the root issue. sacks. all his defense cared about was SACKS. not pts allowed. not total yds allowed. not tackles.

    just SACKS.

    his wide 9 defense was a gimmick that didn’t work in yr 2. hhmmm…kinda like chip kelly’s gimmick….

  4. Washburn has a completely revisionist way of looking at things.

    The wheels were coming off of the Reid regime when Washburn was there and he was one of the guys who was loosening the lug nuts.

    To say that the 2011 season was in any way a success is ridiculous, too. That was the “Dream Team” that went 8-8. While those stats look good, Washburn’s delusional if he thinks that defense was in good shape, poised to do something special in 2012.

    Anyone watching closely in 2011 could see that the only thing they were poised to do is exactly what they did in 2012: put their team in a hole every Sunday.

  5. I semi-well coached college team could defeat his defense… run the ball up the middle while 2/3 of the defensive line run 10 yards outside your tackles hoping for a sack. I think the opposing QBs and our DEs would have picnics in the backfield while the running backs tore up the middle of the field. It was like watching 10v8. Not sure how the rest of the defense was supposed to win that battle.

  6. What is it like to have never seen your team win a Super Bowl? That must be weird. I can imagine the inferiority complex it must produce. My team has won five.

  7. abninf says:
    Jul 7, 2017 8:42 AM
    What is it like to have never seen your team win a Super Bowl? That must be weird. I can imagine the inferiority complex it must produce. My team has won five.


    Fortunately, most well adjusted adults don’t tie their self esteem to the fortunes of a sports team.

    Go play with your bobbleheads, fan boy.

  8. seems to me it wasn’t just one writer that didn’t like him… see all the comments above.

    He’s obviously playing the victim card… sounds like a child trapped Inside of a grown up who can’t own his mistakes but is quick to point out how he was wronged. (If I didn’t know any better, I’d wonder if he was related to my ex wife!)

  9. Hmm not sure of the particulars of this guy, and all the drama with his departure, but in defense of going after sacks first, most 1-gap defenses are designed to penetrate and disrupt and play the run on the way to the QB. There have been some pretty stellar examples of successful “sack first” schemes over the years.

  10. eaglesforlife78 says:
    Jul 7, 2017 4:17 AM
    Would have been helpfull if he was sobber.


    It would help if you could spell.

  11. You can tell Washburn wasn’t the problem because he had so much success after leaving Philly. What’s that? Oh…he had two 7-9 seasons and a playoff loss in the wild card round with a team that was carried by its offense. Well it’s not like the guy is some kind of unethical jerk. Well I mean other than that time he gave steroids to college kids….but c’mon who hasn’t done that.

  12. There are usually two sides to every story and usually they both contain some truths and some falsehoods.

    Washburn — typically — blames everyone for his firing in Philly, including the press, except himself. Why did the press (mainly one writer) not like him? Maybe they had a reason?

    Let us all remember that Washburn was involved in a steroid scandal when he was an assistant coach at the U. of S. Carolina. Washburn plead guilty and was sentenced to a half-way house for 3 months and 3 years of probation. The player (Tommy Chaikin) who blew the whistle on Washburn and two other coaches, detailed his 3 years of abusing steroids and the pressure he got from the coaches to use them. He said he came very close to committing suicide. The article appeared in Sports Illustrated. Chaikin told SI that half the South Carolina players were using steroids.
    Interestingly, S. Carolina received no sanctions over the steroid scandal. which says a lot about the NCAA, and it didn’t stop other colleges from hiring him. He also coached for 3 other NFL teams after he was fired by the Eagles.

    For my money, no NFL team should have ever hired him after he admitted to being involved in the steroid scandal. But we all know the NFL has plenty of second chances for guys like Washburn if they think they can coach — or play.

    The bottom line for me is I don’t care why he got fired in Philly because he never should have been hired in the pros in the first place.

  13. Wide 9 = wide running holes! And he mentioned the overdose of AR son…tragic as that was, it had nothing to do with his horrible defense!

  14. Say it ain’t so. A reporter in Philly misquote someone or actually make something up?

  15. I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that this guy never works again in the NFL. Coaches and front office people are just like players in a way. It’s not just about talent. They’re looking for the whole package. Character and everything.

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