When Jim Washburn was named the new defensive line coach of the Eagles, one of the most excited players on the team was defensive end Trent Cole.
Cole's good friend and former teammate, Jason Babin, had a career year registering 12.5 sacks en route to his first Pro Bowl nomination in just one season of working with Washburn. What could Washburn possibly do for Cole, who had 10.0 sacks this season and has had double-digit sack totals in three of the past four seasons?
"Shoot. I'm pretty pumped about this year," Cole said. "It's going to be a good time."
Cole's current teammate Darryl Tapp has had the chance to experience Washburn first-hand. In 2006, Tapp played in the Senior Bowl and his squad was coached by the Tennessee Titans' staff. After working with Washburn, Tapp was hoping that he would be drafted by the Titans.
"Coach Washburn is legit. He is awesome," Tapp said. "I know what Washburn is all about. He's an energetic, passionate guy that loves the game and loves doing what he does. I'm very excited and am stoked to be playing for him."
On Wednesday, the Eagles named Juan Castillo as their new defensive coordinator to work with Washburn. Certainly, the news initially shocked Cole - as it did all Eagles fans - but the promotion of the former offensive line coach isn't totally outrageous to him.
"That fits him. He's an aggressive, go-getter coach. He loves the game. He coaches the game with a passion," Cole said. "There were times where we would sit around and talk defense all day during the year. He's very knowledgeable about defense."
With Castillo planning to implement the same 4-3 principles that the late Jim Johnson utilized and the vast knowledge that Washburn brings, the Eagles defense will employ an "attack and react" style as Castillo put it on Wednesday. Tapp said that he expects it to be the style of defense he played in his last year in Seattle under former head coach Jim Mora.
"Let guys do what they are paid to do," Tapp said. "Let the cornerbacks cover. Let the defensive linemen rush. Let the linebackers orchestrate what's going on on the field."
Cole said that it's an exciting time to be a part of what will be a much different defense in 2011.
"It's a new beginning for our defense," Cole said.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:30 p.m., February 4