I spoke with new Eagles defensive end Jason Babin this afternoon. Here’s part of my interview with him:
(how big a factor was Jim Washburn in you signing with the Eagles) Coach Wash was a big part of it.
(not being re-signed by the Eagles after the 2009 season) They said we really don’t have room for you, but we really like your ability. I told them that I felt in my heart I could be a starter in this league, and the clock was ticking.
Coming back shows my respect for those guys upstairs in the front office, who were professional enough to let me go and improve myself. And guess what? I came back.
(the Wide-9 set Washburn uses with his defensive ends) He definitely has his own technique and his own way of playing defensive line. And it worked out great for me.
It takes a special kind of guy to fit that system. Part of coach Wash’s reasoning in going to Philadelphia was, one, they were going to continue to let him coach the way he wants to coach. And two, you look at the guys who are there, they’re fast, they’re explosive, they go hard. Trent Cole, (Daryl) Tapp, (Mike) Patterson, Trevor Laws. Those guys can play the way coach Wash wants them to play, the way we’re going to rotate. It’s good all around for everybody.
This year, people are really going to see coach Wash’s style. In Philadelphia, we have so many guys who can do this. It’s going to be scary.
(Eagles’ pass rush) With our offense, we’re going to score a lot of points. That means the other team is going to have to throw the ball. That means we’re going to get a lot of opportunities to go after the quarterback.
(rotating d-linemen) You hear guys say, `I want to play every snap, I want to play every snap.’ But to play 100 percent wide-open, you can only play 60-65 percent of the snaps to be most effective. What’s going to happen is, the second-string guys that come in and take the other 35-40 percent of the snaps, they know they’re going to get a lot of snaps. They’re not going to bitch and complain. They’re not going to mope around. So you’re going to get more production of all of your guys that way.
(washburn) With coach Wash, the best man plays. Look at my situation. I came to Tennessee with a one-year deal. They drafted a defensive end in the first round – Derrrick Morgan. Well, guess what. I ended up starting over him. Best guy plays with coach Wash. Bottom line.
(more on washburn) people have said to me if I had played for coach Wash from the beginning of my career, I’d have gone to a bunch of Pro Bowls and have all these sacks. Maybe they’re right. But all the trials and tribulations I had to deal with earlier in my career and the journeys I have to go on helped make me who I am today. Not just as a defensive end. But as a person, a father, a husband. Those things have really made me hone my skill set. I always had to fight, always had to push and outwork everybody. I wouldn’t trade any of that for (more) cash or (better) stats.