I’ve done a lot of criticizing of Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. I’ve questioned his schemes and his coaching methods. I questioned his treatment of the rookies, namely first round draft pick Fletcher Cox. I discussed my displeasure in regards to the handling of All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
Now, unless something else completely ridiculous occurs, I will end my rampage against Juan Castillo.
Some of you are probably wondering why I’m ending my constant ranting about Castillo.
Juan Castillo has been fired by the Philadelphia Eagles.
FINALLY!!!! WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM HIS MEDIOCRITY!!!! IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED!!! YES YES YES YES!!!!!!
Many spectators hold Castillo responsible for the Eagles defense being as sub-par as it has been for the past two seasons. While the defense has not been completely horrible, the unit should have been far better. Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and DeMeco Ryans make up almost half of the unit. How could one NOT succeed with a defense as threatening as this? There’s no excuses.
Finally, Andy Reid has come to his senses that a former offensive line coach cannot coach a full defensive unit. The idea was stupid from the beginning and this is how it ended.
What sparked this significant personnel move was this past weekend’s Eagles-Lions game. The Eagles had a 20-6 lead going into the 4th quarter. The defense just needed to hold on and keep the Lions from scoring.
They couldn’t do it. The Lions forced the game into overtime and eventually, the Eagles lost.
The problem with the Lions game is that Castillo used the same defensive scheme during the first three quarters of the game. In the fourth quarter, he decided to take Nnamdi off his single coverage of Calvin Johnson, which had been successful the entire game, and started using more blitz packages.
People give Nnamdi so much crap for not producing the way he was expected to. While I believe he may have lost a step or two, he’s still a top tier cornerback in the NFL. Castillo didn’t know how to use him.
Another big reason is just that. He didn’t know when to blitz, and when to play conservatively. He didn’t know whether or not to use zone or man defense on any given play. With two premier corners who are more comfortable playing man coverage than zone, you would think that it would be a no brainer to play man.
NO! Juan liked zone.
The Eagles did not.
It wasn’t the right fit for anyone.
Now, let’s talk about his replacement.
Enter secondary coach Todd Bowles.
Bowles isn’t some no name coach that just fell ass-backwards into a job. In fact, when Tony Sparano was fired as head coach of the Dolphins, Bowles, who was with the Dolphins at the time, was hired as the interim. He led the Dolphins to a 2-1 record to finish the season, which led the Dolphins to discuss hiring him on a permanent basis.
Fortunately for the Eagles, Bowles was not chosen as the permanent solution in Miami, and he became available.
Not long afterwards, the Eagles hired Bowles as their secondary coach.
As far as resumes go, Bowles far out-qualifies Juan Castillo. Castillo has coached nothing but offensive positions since the 1990s, including a decade long tenure as the Eagles offensive line coach.
Todd Bowles not only has years of experience coaching defense. He played in the secondary for the Redskins and 49ers. He’s a players’ coach and will be able to relate to the mindset of the athletes.
Now, I want to draw attention to the good times of Juan’s defensive coordinator career.
There was that one game…no not that one. Oh well what about…nah. Hmm, there’s nothing.
Well, not a ton of good comes from a bad football coach. I think it’s kind of interesting, however, that the media outlets are treating Juan’s firing as if the Eagles just fired their head coach. It’s ridiculous how much this loser is mentioned. He has literally no accomplishments defensively.
I hated this move from the beginning. Before Castillo, we had Sean McDermott. McDermott was the apprentice to the late great Jim Johnson, arguably the greatest defensive mind to ever coach in the NFL. He was flawless in his defensive efforts. McDermott was the DC for the Eagles for two seasons and was fired.
None of this made sense to me being as McDermott was chosen as the AP defensive coordinator of the year during his first season. Why fire the best?
Now, McDermott is coaching Carolina’s defense and while he’s not as good as he once was, I’d rather have the dead body of Jim Johnson than Juan Castillo.