The Philadelphia Eagles had a rather ugly split with defensive line coach Jim Washburn back in December. However, his time with the Eagles didn’t scare off other NFL teams. Like Andy Reid, Marty Mornhinweg and Todd Bowles, Washburn has recovered to find a new job with a new team -- although he still took a pot shot at Philadelphia after the Detroit Lions hired him on Jan. 22.
Washburn is coming to Detroit in an unspecified defensive assistant position, according to the Detroit Free Press. When he confirmed it, he commented that his time with the Eagles “just wasn’t a good fit” although his new job with the Lions will be.
Washburn’s son Jeremiah is already Detroit’s offensive line coach, while head coach Jim Schwartz worked with the elder Washburn in Tennessee for 10 years. Those type of connections should make Detroit a warmer place for Washburn than Philadelphia ever was.
After less than two years as the Eagles' defensive line coach, his schemes -- particularly the “wide-nine” -- did not translate to much success in Philadelphia. Of course, with Juan Castillo and Bowles unable to have any success as defensive coordinators, there wasn’t much that Washburn could do to make up for it.
However, his frustration boiled over when the Eagles cut Jason Babin in late November. Both Babin and Washburn came from Tennessee to Philadelphia in 2011, but each of them wore out their welcome before long. When Washburn allegedly attacked the Eagles for making Babin a scapegoat, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it didn’t take long for him to get cut as well.
Nevertheless, Washburn’s problems in 2012 were not enough to scare off the Lions, especially since their staff knows him a lot better than the Eagles ever did. If he cannot succeed in Detroit, even with his son and close friends on the staff, then it could be that Philadelphia had the right idea after all.