PHILADELPHIA —Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins didn’t find out he had a new position coach until Monday afternoon, when head coach Andy Reid announced that defensive line coach Jim Washburn had been fired and replaced by Tommy Brasher.
“I was very surprised,” Jenkins said Wednesday. “For whatever reason, things happen in this league, especially when you’re not winning.”
The Eagles haven’t won in more than two months, since a 19-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sept. 30. They head to Tampa Bay on Sunday in last place in the NFC with a 3-9 record that includes an eight-game losing streak.
An underachieving defensive line has been part of the problem. The Eagles have just 20 sacks in 12 games this season after tying for the league lead a year ago with 50.
Reid had also grown weary of Washburn’s aggressive attitude that had included a sideline spat with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg last season and an apparent lack of respect for since-fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.
Washburn reportedly was also very upset after Reid released his protege, defensive end Jason Babin, last week.
The defensive line did not take Washburn’s departure very well. Jenkins was the only one willing to talk in the locker room before Wednesday’s practice.
“ ‘Wash’ is a good coach and a good motivator,” Jenkins said. “His approach on how to get us fired up, how to get us motivated an how to get us to play hard may have been taken the wrong way by some people or might not understand it. ‘Wash’ is a very fiery person, but if you really know him, you know he’s a good-hearted person.”
By rehiring Brasher, who coached under Reid with the Eagles in 1999-2005, Reid and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles have decided to scrap the “Wide 9” defensive line scheme that Washburn instituted a year ago in favor of a more traditional front.
“Tommy hasn’t been here long enough to do anything (this week), but he’s a positive guy,” Reid said. “He’s upbeat. He’s all about the team. He wants to help us get better. That’s how Tommy was the years he was here prior to his retirement, so that’s welcome.
“I just want him to do what he does and what he does is prepare a good, sound, aggressive defensive line.”
Struggling free safety Kurt Coleman did not practice on Wednesday because of a chest contusion suffered against Dallas last Sunday and is not expected to play against the Buccaneers.
Reid announced that Colt Anderson will start in his place instead of David Sims, who had started against New Orleans earlier this season when strong safety Nate Allen was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
“Whether it’s tackling or covering (a receiver), I just want to contribute as best I can,” Anderson said Wednesday. “Football is 50 percent physical and 50 percent mental. Everybody in the NFL has the physical tools to play at this level, but you have to know what you’re doing out there.”
Anderson is regarded among the NFL’s top special-teams players. He currently leads the Eagles with 163 production points on special teams while playing on all four coverage and return units. He was seemingly headed to the Pro Bowl last season when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at Seattle on Dec. 1, 2011.
Bumps and bruises
In addition to Coleman, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (bruised tailbone), running back LeSean McCoy (concussion) and quarterback Michael Vick (concussion) did not practice Wednesday. Reid announced that neither McCoy nor Vick had passed their recent ImPACT concussion tests and would not play against the Buccaneers (see related story).
In addition, running back Chris Polk (sprained toe) and cornerback Dominque Rod-gers-Cromartie (knee soreness) were limited in practice.
Tackle Todd Herremans, who is on injured reserve with a dislocated bone in his right foot, was seen wheeling around the locker room with his leg atop a scooter. Herremans said he has to use it for another two weeks, then spend two weeks in a walking cast before starting a rehab program.
Contact David Weinberg: