When Jim Washburn came over to coach the Eagles defensive line, all fans immediately hoped that Albert Hanyesworth would be following him.
But another defensive lineman, who had a more productive season then Hanyesworth, could also be on the way due to Washburn.
Jason Babin, who finished last season with 12.5 sacks under Washburn’s coaching, is a free agent and free to sign with any team once the lockout ends. Babin, speaking to ProFootball Focus, said that any bad blood between him and the Eagles due to their breakup two seasons ago will not get in the way of a potential reunion.
“I think any and all feelings could be waived by a healthy contract” said Babin.
Babin has been very vocal about the role Washburn played in him making the Pro-Bowl last season, and even brought Washburn and his family to Hawaii with him. Babin credits Washburns ability to adjust to his players as a reason for his success.
“Those guys did an amazing job of saying, “these are the tools we have and weapons we have … what’s the best way we can use them.” They don’t have a cookie cutter scheme. They looked at what guys did well and let them excel at it,” explained Babin.
It’s interesting that Babin would point that out, as one of the main knocks on now former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was his players inability to adjust to his defense. Babin had only 2.5 sacks in his brief stint with the Eagles.
It’s hard to imagine that Washburn will not be vocal about bringing in Babin (especially after Babin took him to Hawaii.) Washburn knows what a big role Babin played in his defenses success, and will try to get Babin the big contract he’s looking for.
While both Babin and Hanyesworth could end up in Philadelphia, it will be interesting to see if the Eagles have to choose one, which one they would pick. Babin would cost more money, and really has only had one productive season in the NFL. He also, by all accounts, is a good locker room guy. Hanyesworth’s reputation, on the other hand, speaks for itself and will end up costing him millions. On the other hand, he has been a productive player for most of his career, besides last, and has a bigger upside.
Either way, it is looking and more like Washburn will be brining at least one of his former defensive plays from Tennessee with him.