"It's definitely good because things kind of are stagnant there and could ultimately get worse before they get better," Babin told Jacksonville-area reporters. "Being a part of something that is about to blossom is definitely an exciting feeling."
When asked about being "bashed" while leaving Philadelphia, Babin said that's the way Philadelphians show their love.
"It's like a backhanded compliment," he said. "The non-Philly person would look at it as mean or cruel, but it's a little bit of a sign of endearment."
Bowles said he did not view Babin's release as an indictment of the wide nine, the defensive front used by Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn.
Babin's best years came playing in the system, but it has not been fruitful for the Eagles this season. Bowles said he is still optimistic about his young defensive ends - Brandon Graham, Phillip Hunt, and Vinny Curry - who will see more time with veterans Trent Cole and Darryl Tapp in the team's rotation.
"I don't think that points to the failure of the wide nine," Bowles said of Babin's exit.
Mathis at center
Dallas Reynolds remains sidelined with a sprained ankle, so it looks as if Evan Mathis will start at center on Sunday night against the Cowboys.
That's notable because the Eagles also have center Matt Tennant on the roster. But the coaches decided to shake up the entire line, moving Mathis from left guard and placing Danny Watkins there.
"Trying to get the five best guys," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "[Watkins] has practiced there. He's been with us. He knows all the calls. [We] just think that's the best thing to do at this point, going into a road game."
Watkins has been benched despite being on the active roster the last two games.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox missed Thursday's practice, but his absence was not because of his bruised tailbone. Cox had a death in his family and left the team for the day. . . . Running back LeSean McCoy and quarterback Michael Vick continue to sit because of concussions, while running back Chris Polk is still out with a toe injury. . . . The Eagles practiced for the second consecutive day with 51 players on the active roster, leaving two spots open.