Jim Washburn is already making an impact on Lions' players

Posted May 18, 2013

Washburn joins Kris Kocurek as co-defensive line coach for the Lions and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience

Jim Washburn has been a defensive line coach in the NFL for 15 seasons. A member of his defensive line has made the Pro Bowl in more than half of those seasons (8).
Jim WashburnJim Washburn with DE Ziggy Ansah during rookie mini-camp

He now joins Kris Kocurek as co-defensive line coach for the Lions and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. That experience includes 10 years working with Lions head coach Jim Schwartz from 1999 through 2008 when Schwartz was a defensive assistant and then defensive coordinator in Tennessee.

"He's more scheme than a motivator," said linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who spent his first five seasons in the NFL in Tennessee with Washburn.

"He understands what our defense is. He understands what helps this defense. I think him and Coach (Gunther) Cunningham will definitely be on the same page and help each other when it comes to this defense."

Like Tulloch, defensive end Jason Jones was drafted by Tennessee and spent his first three seasons under Washburn's tutelage. He knows what the Lions are getting.

"It's been great just coming in, just being comfortable with everything," Jones said. "Everything's familiar with the same things he taught me in Tennessee and I'm bringing them here now. I'm familiar with it, so it makes it easier for me to help out the younger guys."

Washburn's also having an immediate impact on some of his new players.

"He's just as intense and enthusiastic as Kris is, but he's been around the block a few times," said fourth-year defensive end Willie Young.

"Kris takes a lot from Washburn. The same way I looked up to Kyle Vanden Bosch, I think it's safe to say that's the same way Kris looks up to Washburn."

Washburn told reporters at the Senior Bowl in January that he considered Kocurek his "other son".

Washburn inherits two-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh, and he already knows what he has in Jones. Now it's his job – along with Kocurek – to help Nick Fairley and Young begin to see their potential, as well as developing rookies Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah and Devin Taylor and second-year player Ronnell Lewis.