Nobody is more relieved than Jason Babin that the Eagles are staying with the “Wide nine” alignment, and with their coaching structure from last season.
Babin tied for second in the NFL in sacks, with 18. He made the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row. He also seems to be the definition of a “system” player – Babin bounced around the NFL for six seasons after being drafted in the first round by Houston, before Jim Washburn put him in the Wide 9 for Tennessee in 2010. After defensive line coach Washburn moved to the Eagles last offseason, Babin signed here for five years and more than $27 million.
“The sooner we got some clarity on those situations, the sooner we could move forward,” Babin said today during a photo shoot at a Pitman, N.J., gym on behalf of a nutritional supplement company through which he hopes to market a protein bar.
Washburn indicated at the Senior Bowl a few weeks back that he was hugely frustrated to see his Wide Nine blamed for much of the Eagles’ defensive struggles in 2011. Babin is just as weary of jousting with reporters and fans, after the Birds tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 50, but somehow still managed to rank 30th in red zone defense, and 24th in touchdown passes allowed.
“When something isn’t working, and you have a new component, what’s the first thing people look at? The new component,” Babin said. “It’s human nature. If we would have won, what’s the first thing (analysts) would have looked at? The Wide Nine.”
Read more from Babin in tomorrow's Daily News.