Eagles hire Titans' Washburn to be defensive line coach

Jim Washburn has been hired as defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Wednesday.

Washburn, who had been the defensive line coach for the Tennessee Titans since 1999, will step in for Rory Segrest, whom the Eagles fired earlier this month.

"We are thrilled to add a quality defensive line coach in Jim Washburn," Andy Reid said in a statement released by the team. "He had a great tenure with Jeff Fisher and the Tennessee Titans and he'll play a big part in the development of our defensive line moving forward. He's had a number of Pro Bowl players working under him over the years with the Titans and we're happy to have him join our coaching staff in Philadelphia."

Washburn, 61, is known for a fiery disposition and an ability to develop linemen. Among those he has tutored are Jevon Kearse, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Albert Haynesworth, Jason Babin, Antwan Odom and Robaire Smith.

"Words cannot express the gratitude I have for Jeff Fisher and the Titans organization for allowing a nobody like me to coach in the NFL for the last 12 years," Washburn said in a statement released by the Eagles. "An opportunity came along for me to join the Eagles and I felt like it was good timing. At this stage of my career, I'm ready to make a change. This is no reflection on the state of the Titans but just a good opportunity for me.

"My wife, Sandy, and I have long planned to make Middle Tennessee our home and that is still our plan. However, we look forward to moving to Philadelphia and joining a top-flight organization like the Eagles and work for a premier coach in Andy Reid."

Five of his players -- Kearse, Vanden Bosch, Kevin Carter, Haynesworth and Babin -- have received a total of 10 Pro Bowl berths. Babin posted 12.5 sacks this past season to earn his first Pro Bowl nod.

"It stinks that he's leaving, but he has to do what he has to do for his personal fulfillment," Babin told the *Tennessean*. "I know he didn't want to leave, but he has valid reasons as how it was explained to me.

"He's the greatest position coach I've ever had, so I have nothing but respect for him."

Babin had complimentary -- and colorful -- details on his relationship with his coach.

"He can evaluate guys and see what guys do best. He'll push buttons," Babin told the Tennessean. "There were times when I wanted to kick his bum leg, but there were times when he jumped up and hugged me. It's an amazing dynamic between coach and player. He'll definitely be missed by people in Tennessee, that's for sure."

Washburn's two decade-long coaching career includes stops at Houston (1998) and Arkansas (1994-97), the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League (1993), the London Monarchs of the World Football League (1991-92), the Charlotte Barons (1990), South Carolina (1983-88), New Mexico (1980-82), Livingston (1979), Lees McRae Junior College (1977-78) and SMU (1976).

Babin, who is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, said he might consider following Washburn.

"He is the guy that gave me the chance. He's the guy who poured water on me, let me have sunshine, gave me fertilizer and really let me grow," Babin said.

"There's been no 'Hey Jason, we want you in Philly' discussions, but it would be hard for me not to contemplate it if he said, 'Jason, I want you in Philly. He resurrected me. I'd have to at least give that serious consideration. But Tennessee is where I made a home, my kids go to school there, we live there. So I feel like I'm in a tough position."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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