Former Eagles defensive end Jason Babin joined the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday while the Eagles continued moving forward without the two-time Pro Bowler. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said he had no influence in the decision to release Babin.
“That’s something handled by management and the head coach,” Bowles said.
In Jacksonville, Babin praised his new team, the warm weather, and the lack of state income tax in Florida. He also opined on the Eagles’ future compared to the Jaguars, who are 2-9.
“It’s definitely good because things kind of are stagnant there and could ultimately get worse before they get better,” Babin told Jacksonville-area reporters. “Being a part of something that is about to blossom is definitely an exciting feeling.”
When asked about being “bashed” while leaving Philadelphia, Babin said that’s the way Philadelphians show their love.
“It’s like a back-handed compliment,” he said. “The non-Philly person would look at it as mean or cruel, but it’s a little bit of a sign of endearment.”
Bowles did not view Babin’s release as an indictment of the wide-nine, the defensive front used by defensive line coach Jim Washburn. Babin’s best years came playing in the system, but it has not been fruitful for the Eagles this season. Bowles is still optimistic about young defensive ends such as Brandon Graham, Phillip Hunt, and Vinny Curry, who will join veterans Trent Cole and Darryl Tapp in the team’s rotation.
“I don’t think that points to the failure of the wide-nine,” Bowles said. “We have a bunch of defensive ends. There’s not a failure or success rationale. We just have football players and we think we have pretty good ones.”