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Philadelphia Eagles ditching 'wide-nine' D-line scheme

The days of the "wide-nine" defense are nearing their end in Philadelphia.

Jim Washburn is out as defensive line coach and Tommy Brasher is in, meaning the Philadelphia Eagles will move away from Washburn's beloved scheme for their final four games, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reported.

Brasher told defensive end Brandon Graham there "won't be a (wide-nine) technique" for the rest of the year. This would loom as bigger news if the 3-9 Eagles exhibited any capability to stop teams on offense, but it does suggest Andy Reid has reined in the operation to surround himself with coaches and players -- and concepts -- he's comfortable with.

The wide-nine caught fire as a buzzword in recent seasons. It's an alignment, essentially a four-down-linemen look that inches its ends outside the offensive tackles over the "nine" gap, where the tight end rests. Edge rushers typically angle toward the passer pre-snap, and the right selection of players can generate heavy heat on a quarterback. The wide-nine is linked to Washburn, but strains of it exist all over the NFL.

Reid was asked this week if there was "anything specific" he wanted to see out of Brasher, who previously held the same position with the Eagles from 1999 to 2005.

"I just want (Brasher) to do what he does," Reid said. "And what he does is prepare a good, sound, aggressive defensive line. I think that's what you'll see from what Tommy coaches."

That would be an unusual sight from the Eagles in 2012.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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