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Eagles surprise: Juan Castillo will be their defensive coordinator

Philadelphia found their next defensive coordinator in a surprising place: Their offensive coaching staff.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports Juan Castillo will be moved from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator.  Long-time Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd will take over the offensive line duties.

Mike Nolan once made a similar move from receivers coach to defensive coordinator in Baltimore.  Bill Belichick was an offensive coach early in his career.  With that said, there are few examples of coaches in this day of specialization making this kind of jump.  Castillo hasn’t coached defense since he was at a Texas high school in 1989.

It’s a bold and possible defining move at a tenuous time in Andy Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia.  There will be a ridiculous amount of pressure on Castillo, but the decision is so out-of-the-box that we are want to give it a chance.

UPDATE: The Eagles have confirmed the move.

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85 Responses to “Eagles surprise: Juan Castillo will be their defensive coordinator”
  1. sjayski says: Feb 2, 2011 4:39 PM

    What the hell? Andy Reid has lost his damn mind.

  2. hobartbaker says: Feb 2, 2011 4:40 PM

    “The offensive line gave us so few points we are hoping Juan can take that with him to the other side of the ball.”.

  3. ahealthyscratch says: Feb 2, 2011 4:41 PM

    As an Eagles fan, my only response is: I don’t get it. I don’t hate it, I don’t like it, I just…don’t get it.

  4. amanistumor says: Feb 2, 2011 4:42 PM

    Red just sealed his fate….. there’s no fall guy when, not if, this doesn’t pan out.

    Hopefully the timing of it all we just so happen with Johnny “Gumdrops” Gruden or Bill “Chisel Chin” Cowher decide they want back in.

  5. hobartbaker says: Feb 2, 2011 4:42 PM

    “Our offense only gave up 30 points all season, all of them on turnovers. Juan Castillo was a big part of that.”.

  6. upperdecker19 says: Feb 2, 2011 4:47 PM

    WOW!!! Can we rehire McDermott to be the O-Line coach in Castillo’s absence?

  7. jdl1325 says: Feb 2, 2011 4:47 PM

    Bringing Mudd out of retirement makes this palatable, but good god, can this be the plan that Reid and Roseman have had all along?

  8. beastofeden says: Feb 2, 2011 4:47 PM

    This is a great move for Redskins Fans. And with Stewart Bradley coming back to weaken their already sup bar LB corp. it ensures a head coaching change and rebuilding phase is in the not to distant future.

  9. myeaglescantwin says: Feb 2, 2011 4:47 PM

    I’m not done yet.

    If this was the original plan, this announcement would have been made THE DAY AFTER McDermott was released.

    Its now obvious they had NO plan as to how they would move on after they released McDermott.

  10. jw731 says: Feb 2, 2011 4:48 PM

    Is this for real?…Once again Fat Andy has outsmarted everyone….Even himself…

  11. adzack3441 says: Feb 2, 2011 4:49 PM

    Either Reid is a genius or he is going out in flames. Me? I’m getting a fire extinguisher ready….

  12. everlastinnn says: Feb 2, 2011 4:49 PM

    Lets go Phillies

  13. mimitaroo says: Feb 2, 2011 4:50 PM

    Just as I was starting to like the Eagles offseason moves to date, they pull this?

  14. nflrulz says: Feb 2, 2011 4:50 PM

    Castillo’s son is a CB in college at Iowa. I’m sure Daddy incorporates a little Hawkeye Defense into the Eagles!!

  15. realitypolice says: Feb 2, 2011 4:55 PM

    Just Andy Reid tightening his grip on the team.

    Instead of bringing in someone with their own defensive philosophy that might expect some authority on their side of the ball, he’ll just move a guy into that position who has been with him a long time, is loyal to him, and has no philosophy or ambition of his own.

    Getting Mudd in as OL coach is probably the best news in this story for Eagles fans.

  16. nickynick04 says: Feb 2, 2011 4:58 PM

    W H A T ? Mark my words, this will be Andy Reid’s last year as the Eagle’s head coach….he has lost his mind…..

  17. sjoyner59 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:02 PM

    Juan has been one of the best offensive line coaches for years,If this doesn’t work you look REAL stupid.I have faith in Juan’s coaching ability but ……..

  18. spizzy123 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:03 PM

    This once proud team of mine has turned into an absolute sideshow. This man couldn’t even get the offensive linemen playing well and now he’s the defensive coordinator but has only coached defense at the high school level.

    this stinks worse than an Andy Reid Dutch Oven.

  19. textthis says: Feb 2, 2011 5:04 PM

    here we go. everyone call this his last year, just like when he traded Mcnabb to the Redskins. dude knows what he’s doing and keeps a competitive team year after year. this WILL work!

  20. meso0rnery says: Feb 2, 2011 5:05 PM

    LOL! What movie is this quote from?…

    “Juan Castillo… went to jail…
    for having sex with a goat.”

    anyone?… anyone?…

  21. cobrala says: Feb 2, 2011 5:06 PM

    I’ve never understood the media fascination with Juan Castillo. I was expecting Troy Aikman and Joe Buck to go sidelines and nut on him one broadcast this season.

    When we had great pass protection we couldn’t run.
    When we can run we NO pass protection.

    I don’t know O-Line theory and all but this is weirder to me than trading McNabb to Washington.

  22. cytofed says: Feb 2, 2011 5:06 PM

    Thank you eagles! Winston Moss the raiders next dc!!!

  23. bjb304 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:08 PM

    Worst move ever, i hope i eat my words as an eagles fan but I’m as qualified as this guy. Here is another move by the eagles thinking they are smarter than everyone else in the league, theyve been missing in the draft, in the playoffs, and in the super bowl with this line of thought. looks like they miss again, see ya in 2yrs andy. Jeff Fisher as head coach campaign begins now.

  24. nogoodell says: Feb 2, 2011 5:09 PM


    no surprise.. Andy always puts players out of position

    DTs at FB
    TEs at WR
    RBs at WR
    DEs at LB
    S at CB
    Q at RB
    WR at RB

    wtf is up with this team

  25. bleedgreen says: Feb 2, 2011 5:09 PM

    I just … what? Seriously? I mean, I hope it works out, but I really don’t see that happening. Castillo hasn’t done squat with the O-Line since having Andrews, Runyan and Thomas almost 10 years ago. The O-Line has gotten worse and worse every year despite having average and higher players.

  26. toe4 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:13 PM

    Holy Cow Mudd to Philadelphia is a story! Seriously that needs looked into a little deeper.

    He was working for the Colts, Polian fired Ryan Lilja and suddenly Mudd isn’t working for the Colts. Colts offensive line sucks this season and now Mudd is working for Philadelphia.

    What the story, morning glory?

  27. sterling7 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:13 PM

    Not being an expert myself, will Juan Castillo do for the defense what he did for the offensive line-they were quite offensive!?

  28. dolphins4 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:13 PM

    What did Reid fall on his head.This goes to show they had no plan at all.Maybe they figured that Juan can teach the linebackers,DBs and linemen to to run through everybody elses line like they did his.

  29. bjb304 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:14 PM

    Bring on pitchers and catchers 2012 because next eagles season is already a wash.

  30. jw731 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:15 PM

    Of all the other 31 teams, and literally hundreds of colleges with defensive assistants, you mean to tell me a man who has been an offensive line coach since 1998, and never got past that title, is best qualified to be the defensive coordinator? Unbelievable…

  31. p4hbiz says: Feb 2, 2011 5:16 PM

    Good! Now The Raiders don’t have to compete with Philly for a “Real” DC~

    Lol~ Go Raiders!! – W. Moss Or D. Perry will love being back in California.. It’s soo Warm here, enjoy the snow while we go surfing.

  32. laeaglefan says: Feb 2, 2011 5:17 PM

    On the surface, this move makes no sense at all. It wreaks of desperation on the part of Andy Reid. Andy is either going to come out of this as a genius for making this move, or it will be the move that seals his demise in Philly. If I had to make a wager, I’d be betting on the latter. It sounds to me like Castillo had an offer somewhere that he was about to accept, and the Eagles were not terribly happy with any of the DC candidates that were left for them to choose from, so they decided to take a flyer on Castillo as DC in order to keep him. Oh well…how much worse can the defense be than it was in 2010?

  33. kingjoe1 says: Feb 2, 2011 5:27 PM

    WT-Double-F is going on down in Philly. I supported Reid up until now. This is an absurdly stupid move.
    If Castillo was such a find to justify the upheaval on defense, how come it took the Eagles 16 years to “find” him?

    Reid has completely lost his mind. The good news is that Jeff Fisher can take over next year or maybe Bill Cowher.

  34. jacksaysfu says: Feb 2, 2011 5:27 PM

    Im a eagles fan and though he is so easy to dislike , I always tried to give reid the benefit of the doubt , im out now , This guy gotta GO ! Even if castillo turns out to be great (which I doubt),Reid had no plan in place when he fired mcdermott and thats pathetic! This is the NFL , we cant waste a year to see if this guy is capable to make such a drastic change .

  35. hoobsher says: Feb 2, 2011 5:38 PM

    this is one of those moments where andy reid does something so bizarre (or stupid) and you think

    ‘well…he IS a professional coach and has proven himself multiple times….so he must have some master plan here’ but then it all just turns to pudding.

    eagles fans have been dealing with this for what seems like a century. i.e. calling play action on 3rd and 1 when the game is on the line…or kicking a field goal when we need a touchdown and the game is on the line…or calling an onsides kick to start the game…etc.

    its starting to look like SB or bust for andy so look for a big FA offseason.

  36. birdobeamen says: Feb 2, 2011 5:47 PM

    I’m not going to judge until I see the games.

    Too many people have questioned Andy’s personnel decisions in the past and called him an idiot and many names — only to have him get the last laugh.

    Not saying I agree with many of his gametime decisions, but if you’re a true Eagles fan then you know that Andy knows what he’s doing on the personnel side of the ball 95 percent of the time.

  37. icontutu says: Feb 2, 2011 5:49 PM

    I’ve been saying this for three years, Reid’s got to go! He has taken the Eagles, fundamentally, as far as they can go under his leadership. Let him go wherever McNabb goes. Take his staff with him! You people, asking for Cowher, a run, defensive minded, coach, are out to lunch. Get Dungy, a team builder and Superbowl winner, in addition to sponsoring Vick, to the Eagles, “What more could you ask for?” A coach who can take an aggressive pass-orientated offense, Q/B strong & a team, defensively weak, to the “Big Game.” The Eagle’s don’t need a total makeover, “Just a tweek and a new highly qualified coach.” Eagles to the end…

  38. icontutu says: Feb 2, 2011 5:56 PM

    For those with good memories, “Gruden took Dungy’s team to the S/B.” Did nothing after the fact! Dungy is well versed with everyone in the leagues due to his current stint as a network analyst… His is approving Reids “Scapegoat choices?” Somebody better!

  39. cnorth5863 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:01 PM

    This is a SMART move! Just think about it. Juan is highly respected around the league. It is smart for the eagles to promote him before he is plucked by another team. A good coach is a good coach….Jim Johnson frequently consulted Juan on blitz schemes, coverages, etc. If anyone can make the switch, he can. He already has the respect of his players, so he is already better then McDermitt. It was a great way to keep home grown talent in the fold. Howard Mudd is also a great signing. The Eagles hands down have the best coaching staff in the league. Super bowl within 2 years!

  40. b7p19 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:02 PM

    A good coach is a good coach.

  41. drbob117 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:03 PM

    The Eagles have proven once again that they know more than everyone else and are the ‘gold standard’ even though they have never won a damn thing. I am now convniced that they will never win a damn thing in my lifetime.

  42. jc1958coo says: Feb 2, 2011 6:03 PM

    wow as a packer fan i’m over joyed! one less team to keep us from REPEATING! oh yea you heard it here first, write it down jc1958coo !!!!

  43. drexelvol says: Feb 2, 2011 6:13 PM

    Oh good God.

  44. fmwarner says: Feb 2, 2011 6:19 PM

    birdobeamen says: Feb 2, 2011 5:47 PM

    I’m not going to judge until I see the games.

    Too many people have questioned Andy’s personnel decisions in the past and called him an idiot and many names — only to have him get the last laugh.

    Not saying I agree with many of his gametime decisions, but if you’re a true Eagles fan then you know that Andy knows what he’s doing on the personnel side of the ball 95 percent of the time.

    This exactly. It’s such a strange move that there must be more to the story that we don’t know about. Andy’s taken heat in the past from Negadelphia for a bunch of things that worked out in the end. It’s a head-scratcher, but he’s earned the benefit of the doubt.

  45. lbijake says: Feb 2, 2011 6:22 PM

    Andy just went all in and I don’t think he has pocket aces.

  46. upperdecker19 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:23 PM

    Is keeping Juan from becoming an OC w/ Cleveland so important that they need to promote this guy to a coordinator position at which he has no experience? If they fire/demote Marty M. and make Juan the OC, I can accept that a little. At least there’s a basis of competency on that side.

  47. commandercornpone says: Feb 2, 2011 6:26 PM

    a lot of the eagles OL problems can probly be blamed on reid’s lapsing into pass-all-day mode.

    and their talent has been iffy.

    but if this guy couldnt work that miracle… this one will be too big.

    yes this move smells of desperation. with a side of salsa.

  48. greymares says: Feb 2, 2011 6:38 PM

    The best history teacher i ever had was an english teacher for 15 years before he took on the history job. Leslie frazier just said when he was on jim johnson’s staff they always ran their defensive game plan through Castillo for his approval. it has also been reported that he was the first interview and nobody else could interview better. but i bet if he is succesfull most of you guys will never admit you didn;t want him hired in the first place. and finally guys he was just hired by the longest tenured coach in the N.F.L. the man must know something. ps: how many of Reid’s coaches are head coaches today?

  49. mikehuntsmellztu says: Feb 2, 2011 6:42 PM

    Great move!

  50. purpleguy says: Feb 2, 2011 6:45 PM

    Huh? Well, I suppose it could’ve been worse — he could’ve hired Childress as D coordinator.

  51. oldbyrd says: Feb 2, 2011 6:53 PM

    Turn out the lights , the party’s over. But , Juan is arguably one the best Off line coaches in all football. Lets give him a chance.

  52. chadmd23 says: Feb 2, 2011 6:59 PM

    You are all idiots! Andy had a job for life, or if Lurie sells the team.

    And my other point, wouldn’t it be crazier if a QB coach became a head coach?

  53. cruells says: Feb 2, 2011 7:15 PM

    This could be great.. Give the guy a shot..
    He can’t possibly suck as much as McDermott

    It’s will be interesting to see the D during Mini Camps and OTA’s should there be any..

  54. illad3lph1a says: Feb 2, 2011 7:18 PM

    It can be a great move if he has the “it” factor. Using the o line knowledge can only help … Right? I hope u know what u are doing Andy!

  55. jpk6044 says: Feb 2, 2011 7:33 PM

    Because Sean McDermott was so inexperienced….

  56. ChopBlockMurph says: Feb 2, 2011 7:36 PM

    I learned my lesson last offseason. I was so certain the Vick experiment failed: he was washed up, had no trade value, and then we had the whole b-day shooting incident. I wanted him gone. Seemed like a no-brainer.

    Except as it turned out, the Eagles brass actually had more insight into the situation than I did. Stunner, huh?

    I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt today. And I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Here’s to hoping you’re the real D-eal, Castillo!

  57. miket0823 says: Feb 2, 2011 7:42 PM

    Maybe now they’ll bring out the secret potential of Dave Spadaro in developing DBs. He also has maintained the organization’s line for years.

  58. therealjcannon says: Feb 2, 2011 7:43 PM

    It would have been fun to see the Eagles in the 3/4, they have the pieces to be a dominant 3/4 D.

  59. realfootballfan says: Feb 2, 2011 7:47 PM

    I’m amused by all the miserable armchair Eagle fans who’ve sat down with all the speculative candidates, who more than likely they wouldn’t know unless they predictably were fed the names by the media who’s job it is to speculate.

    However, what do you expect from a fan base that constantly ripped their team’s best QB in franchise history because he had the audacity to get traded by their team.

    I like Andy Reid, but hopefully it’s over soon because he definitely deserves better than the dumbest fan base in football.

    Maybe getting back to those Ray Rhodes/Rich Kotite days is a high priority.

  60. bobbyhoying says: Feb 2, 2011 7:51 PM

    This move comes from the “complete idiot” who signed Mike Vick while writers and other coaches thought he was nuts. This is the moron who got two good draft picks for McNabb and was widely criticized by all the writers, sports broadcasters and former players for trading Mcnabb in the division. Let’s judge this next season.

  61. trollaikman8 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:00 PM

    Was Jim Zorn asking for too much money?

  62. occamsrazor1 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:02 PM

    This is an inspirational story. If you want to see what Castillo is all about go to youtube and view the video titled Juan Castillo – Eagles OL Coach

    I’ll be rooting for the guy.

  63. skinsball says: Feb 2, 2011 8:03 PM

    Wow. I think my team is rubbing off on the eagles.

  64. gtmann says: Feb 2, 2011 8:10 PM

    WTF ? This guy has no D experience since coaching HS !! Plus the O line wasn’t particularly dominant this past season

  65. sdw2001 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:13 PM

    My first reaction? WTF? That about sums it up. It sounds crazy on the surface. If it blows up, Reid will be toast. But, this is so crazy it just might work. From what I’ve been reading, while JC is/was the offensive line coach, he’s been a part of defensive planning before. We will see.

  66. richabbs says: Feb 2, 2011 8:16 PM

    First of all, Juan Castillo played LB in college and in the USFL, so it’s not like he has zero knowledge of defensive schemes. Second, he may be one of the hardest workers in football and is definitely one of the best OL coaches in the business (the other guy they just hired, Howard Mudd, may be the best). Finally, Castillo will probably wind up being a head coach some day. He is definitely highly regarded amongst other coaches.

  67. mswravens says: Feb 2, 2011 8:22 PM

    Mike Nolan is a poor comparison. He had already been a defensive coach, a defensive coordinator in fact, before he came to Baltimore & took the job of receivers coach as the DC in waiting…once Marvin Lewis retired.

  68. hope4superbowl says: Feb 2, 2011 8:36 PM

    Eagle fans be sure to check out

  69. phillybirds says: Feb 2, 2011 8:46 PM

    I watched an interview Dave Spadaro had with Andy Reid about an hour ago and Andy was smiling like a little baby… if Juan is such a great hidden treasure we had on our team than why did we even bother promoting Sean McDermott??? Juan’s been here for a while. Did Andy pick up on this during the past season? He said everytime they’d struggle on offense Juan would point out the eyes of the defense.. Hmm…. Andy has lost it. I’m sure Juan is a great guy and an awesome motivator but we need someone who knows defense and how to pick better guys. Trent Cole and Asante Samuel are our only true keepers on D.

  70. dolphins4 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:47 PM

    Andy Reid ought to get a job coaching the Raiders.Al Davis and him think alike.

  71. wawa33 says: Feb 2, 2011 8:48 PM

    IN a realted move, Fat Pig Father of the Year Andy Reid hired the new Eagles cheerleaders too:

  72. wtfru2 says: Feb 2, 2011 9:11 PM

    WTF, I think Fat Bastard finally took over his mind?????

  73. goldsteel says: Feb 2, 2011 9:15 PM

    Not ping pong balls but King Kong’s balls. Andy Reid may have made the best coaching change of his career?

  74. moochzilla says: Feb 2, 2011 9:55 PM

    1) He’s totally loyal to / dependent on Reid.

    2) He’ll make less than 31 other DC’s in the NFL.

    Make sense now?

  75. mataug says: Feb 2, 2011 11:44 PM

    @toe4… Mudd had already told the Colts that he would leave after last year’s Super Bowl.

    The Colts released Lilja who then became a part of one of the NFL’s best rushing offenses (but I’m not sure how good was Lilja individually).

    If I remember it correctly, post retirement benefits were the main reason that Mudd announced his first announcement after which Manning created a stir in the media by saying that he wouldn’t want to lose Mudd and Tom Moore.

    I read somewhere that Mudd served as a consultant to the Saints in the summer of 2010 but yeah coming back at age of 69 is pretty unheard of.

  76. norcaleagles says: Feb 3, 2011 12:37 AM

    Give the guy a damn chance!! To you guys who dont know, Juan Castillo is a great FOOTBALL coach. Im sure all of you Eagle haters on here are the same ones who were saying that the Eagles were going to be in the basement of the division after trading McNabb. How’d that work out for you??

  77. koydetmersneckbeard says: Feb 3, 2011 3:51 AM

    Let me start by saying I think Juan Castillo is a fantastic coach and I am for giving him a promotion, but this is like hiring a English major to become your Accountant.

    With the lockout looming, this hire intrigues me because Castillo could potentially have an entire year to work on his scheme before anyone see the field.

    On the other hand, this move could cost Andy “Albus Dumbledor” Reid his job. He tries to outsmart everyone in the league. I believe Andy best serves as an OC and does not call plays. He is clueless when his scripted 10 plays does not work out. When the Eagles are ahead, Big Red is a genius, is able to run the ball and open his “menu” to call any play he would like.

  78. flyinhighwithvick says: Feb 3, 2011 7:47 AM

    This franchise is the biggest joke in professional sports.

  79. myvickinabox14 says: Feb 3, 2011 8:01 AM

    Jim Washburn is around too. He is fully qualified to be a DC, but from what I understand doesn’t wanna be. I’m willing to bet that this will be Wasburns defense, but it will have JC’s name on it. I like the craziness that this is. Its like the Jersey Shore. Go birds!

  80. hank10 says: Feb 3, 2011 8:05 AM

    Will someone please check Reid for a concussion.

  81. phillyfan4ever says: Feb 3, 2011 10:23 AM

    The reason this took so long was because Reid needed to wait on Howard Mudd to make sure he was on board. Once he got that information, the move was made.

    I think this will work out for the Eagles. They get a hall of fame OL coach and a guy who should have been coaching the defense along time ago.

    With a good draft and a couple of trades we can tighten up our defensive issues.

  82. oldbyrd says: Feb 3, 2011 10:30 AM

    After hearing some in depth info on the Castilo-Johnson relationship and how they planed together, this might just be a good move. If it works out like Reid’s decesion to bring on Vic….WOW

  83. cb256 says: Feb 3, 2011 11:27 AM

    youtube…. juan castillo- eagles OL coach

    the guy is a boss

  84. firethewalrus says: Feb 3, 2011 6:27 PM

    Look, Juan Castillo is a really, really good coach and I am positive that he CAN coach the Defense… But that’s not what the Eagles need. This team desperately needs a defensive-minded mastermind, not just a guy that can coach up players (no matter how much Castillo claims to be a “defensive guy”). Can Juan Castillo seriously call the plays on Defense? Can he help find the right personnel for his fledgling Linebacker corps or a stud Defensive Tackle? Can he come up with a Defensive gameplan to dominate a playoff game, ala Rex Ryan versus the Patriots?

  85. cesquire says: Jun 1, 2011 3:26 PM

    Why isn’t Brad Childress coaching for Philadelphia? Didn’t Reid say Childress would be welcomed back with “open arms”?

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