Once Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams decided to say adios to favored son Vince Young, it was clear that head coach Jeff Fisher had won his battle with the quarterback.
The fallout from Adams’ decision to keep Fisher was slow to start, but it has begun, and the first blow was tremendous.
Jim Washburn, the longtime Titans defensive line coach, and one of the best position coaches in the National Football League, accepted a job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Washburn most recently helped near-bust Jason Babin become a Pro-Bowler. Babin recorded 12.5 sacks in 2010.
Washburn helped Jevon Kearse and Albert Haynesworth become wealthy superstars and turned journeyman players such as Dave Ball into indispensible parts of the defensive line rotation.
The Tennessean quoted Washburn as saying, “An opportunity came along for me to join the Eagles and I felt like it was good timing. At this stage of my career, I’m ready to make a change. This is no reflection on the state of the Titans but just a good opportunity for me.”
Washburn also said he plans to keep his home in Middle Tennessee, which indicates two things:
- Washburn’s decision does reflect of the state of the Titans, which is dismal, especially after his departure
- Jeff Fisher is a lame duck coach, and the odds are sky-high that 2011 will be his last season coaching the Titans
There is no job security among the Titans coaching staff, so Washburn, who spent 12 seasons in Nashville, decided to take a more secure gig.
In the meantime, much-maligned defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil is still employed, and offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger’s is still battling cancer.
Where do the Titans go from here? Are they in danger of losing additional coaches? Who is willing to take a coaching job with Tennessee if they know Fisher is a lame duck?
Someone who is willing to accept the fact that they may be one-and-done in Nashville.