New D-line coach seeks change; has complicated history

Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn has agreed to take the same position with the Eagles. (Mark Humphrey/AP file photo)

New Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn says he was looking for a change, and that is what led him to leave the Tennessee Titans after 12 seasons.

Washburn was not made available to the Philadelphia media yesterday after his hiring was announced at his request, the Eagles said. He reluctantly agreed to an interview with Jim Wyatt, of the Tennessean  in Nashville.

Washburn wanted to make is clear that he left with no hard feelings and no regrets.

"I need to get invigorated a little bit," he said. "It wasn’t anything in particular, I just thought it was just about time,’’ Washburn said. “It is no reflection on the state of the Titans or anything. As a matter of fact, the Titans having the troubles is the one thing that made me want to stay. It almost kept me here. I’d like to be with them to fight their way back to the top. So I don’t want it to look like I am running out.’’

An avid outdoorsman who loves to spend time with his grandchildren and wants to own a farm, Washburn, 61, also said he is not close to retirement.

“I want to have a life after I quit football, not just be known as Coach Wash,’’ he said. "But all that will come one day. Right now I want to coach five or six more years and I think I can coach as well as I’ve ever coached. I know I’m going to coach as hard as I can coach, I promise you that.’’

The Eagles (and the Titans, before them) were aware, an Eagles source said, that Washburn once served three months in a halfway house for his involvement in a 1988 steroids scandal at the University of South Carolina. He also served three years on probation. Washburn and two other coaches were alleged to have played roles in procuring steroids and in designing workout programs for players taking steroids.

 That did not come up in the Tennesseean interview.

Washburn added that he has no "buyer's remorse" about leaving the Titans.

“Everyone is trying to read different things into it, but I have choices and I feel good about it. ... “I am not going to be ugly about anything. I want to leave here with a clean break and don’t want to have any sour grapes and I shouldn’t. It was a really good 12 years, most of them anyway. Maybe one or two of them (stunk), but I enjoyed it.

“I was frustrated when we didn’t play good. But my contract is up. So I don’t understand how anyone could fault me. Life is about choices. No one is going to put me on a guilt trip because I went over there and worked as hard as I could every day and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now I just wanted to do something a little different.’’



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