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John Harbaugh: Juan Castillo is the finest teacher in the NFL

Andy Reid, Juan Castillo AP

Juan Castillo was the most criticized assistant coach in the NFL over the last couple of seasons, as he went from the Eagles’ offensive line coach to their defensive coordinator, to unemployed and blamed for the team’s decline.

But Castillo’s new boss, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, says the most criticized assistant coach in the NFL may just be the best assistant coach in the NFL.

“I would say Juan is maybe the finest teacher of football in the National Football League,” Harbaugh said. “He teaches the game as well as anybody you’re ever going to see, and those guys – they like to work for him.”

Castillo, who was hired as the Ravens’ run game coordinator in January, is such a good teacher that players on the Ravens are eager to do extra work after practice to get an opportunity to get more instruction from Castillo.

“They want to stay out to get extra reps because they understand that the things that he’s teaching them are going to help them be a better player,” Harbaugh said.

Former Eagles head coach Andy Reid probably threw Castillo into a deeper part of the pool than he was prepared for when Castillo became the defensive coordinator in Philadelphia. But no one disputes that Castillo is very knowledgeable about NFL offensive line play. Castillo now has a job that matches his experience, and the Ravens will benefit from that.

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71 Responses to “John Harbaugh: Juan Castillo is the finest teacher in the NFL”
  1. floratiotime says: Aug 15, 2013 11:33 AM

    What a clown.

  2. ara35 says: Aug 15, 2013 11:35 AM

    That’s odd. Apparently performing a job that matches your years of experience may lead to more success than switching to the other side of the ball. Interesting…

  3. bag217 says: Aug 15, 2013 11:35 AM

    That’s Andy trying to prove he’s smarter then everyone else. Good luck Kansas City.

  4. si1m says: Aug 15, 2013 11:36 AM

    In before predictable, desperate Steeler fan trolling

    #onlyRelevantTeamInAFCNorth

  5. siggtacular says: Aug 15, 2013 11:36 AM

    Clown? Nah. He has a Super Bowl ring

  6. rectumdamnnearkilledem says: Aug 15, 2013 11:37 AM

    Never understood why Reid moved him to defensive coordinator in the 1st place. Nice to see Castillo get another shot. Offensive line was not the problem in Philly when Castillo was there.

  7. twilson962 says: Aug 15, 2013 11:38 AM

    Except on defense

  8. wearethechampsandyourenot says: Aug 15, 2013 11:38 AM

    #REPEAT

  9. eaglerome says: Aug 15, 2013 11:39 AM

    Castillo is a great coach. It wasn’t his fault namdi was a bust, no one wanted to tackle, and he was forced to employ that wide 9 scheme that never worked. He was set up to fail.

  10. wearethechampsandyourenot says: Aug 15, 2013 11:40 AM

    the eagles defense stunk with castillo, stunk with bowles, and will stink with whatever slappy they have now

    #personnel

  11. southpaw2k says: Aug 15, 2013 11:43 AM

    floratiotime says:
    Aug 15, 2013 11:33 AM
    What a clown.

    ————————————-

    Right, John Harbaugh knows nothing about winning football games or championships at all – oh, wait.

  12. trabbit55 says: Aug 15, 2013 11:44 AM

    Good for Juan.
    As a lifelong Eagles fan, I’ve always thought he was a very good offensive line coach, and never had a problem with that responsibility.
    Andy Reid, with good intentions, almost derailed his career by making him in charge of the other side of the ball. I’m glad that Andy’s longtime successful assistant gave his old buddy a chance.
    He’ll be great in that role.

  13. followme2boston says: Aug 15, 2013 11:45 AM

    But wait Eagles fans said he was terrible…they are never quick to judge and try to run folks out of town. That is weird that he is successful and good at his job.

  14. taosravenfan says: Aug 15, 2013 11:46 AM

    and for the people like he first responder, when they want to know why the Ravens are as successful as they are, it is because John Harbaugh has no ego ago bringing in talented coaches who know more about the game in certain areas than he does. His specialty was ST, but he is an outstanding manager and motivator. Just look at his staff. Every single one has big time experience from Ted Mondachino, to Jim Caldwell and now Juan Castillo who is the defacto line coach under andy moeller. buy everyone knows it is juan who is calling the shots. Andy Reid really did him no favor by doing what he did. I am glad the Ravens reaped the benefit. it all goes along with being at or near the top of the heap consistently. i make no promises about repeating, but the jokers that think we are destined for below 500 are just fooling themselves. this is a good team with two very good rbs coached by the best rb coach in wilbert montgomery and running game/ol guy in juan. look for both rice and pierce to have huge years

  15. officialgame says: Aug 15, 2013 11:46 AM

    Castillo never should have been made a defensive coordinator in the first place because he had no experience on that side of the ball. He was one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL but never a coordinator at any level pro, college or even High School. Never called a game as a coordinator on either side of the ball which is an art in itself. Castillo begged Reid for the job but Andy should have known better. Juan Castillo is a good man, as loyal as it gets and even he had his fill of Reid after being made a scapegoat in Philly.

  16. godofwine330 says: Aug 15, 2013 11:46 AM

    I’ve never been big on the sacrificial lamb thing that goes on in sports and other parts of life. We lost a big game so somebody has to go. We underperformed and went 0-4 so the offensive coordinator has to go. Yes, it worked for the Ravens last year, but name one other team it worked for. Most times the team goes in a downward spiral that ends with the entire staff following the fired coach. Hell, one game the team fired the special teams coach after an early regular season game! That made absolutely no sense. The coach didn’t miss a block and allow a blocked punt and a return for a TD.

    Either way, I’m glad that Castillo landed on his feet.

  17. skinsfanwill says: Aug 15, 2013 11:48 AM

    That clown being Andy Reid, maybe?

  18. pioniere says: Aug 15, 2013 11:49 AM

    Probably happy to get out of that train wreck in Philly.

  19. greymares says: Aug 15, 2013 11:50 AM

    unfortunately there are a lot of Juan Castillo’s walking around no longer working as coaches because ignorant fans and overzealous reporters need to find reasons to blame.

  20. gumbogumbo says: Aug 15, 2013 11:50 AM

    Still a better DC than Todd Bowles

  21. Joemontanaflacco says: Aug 15, 2013 11:53 AM

    Compare this to the Steelers where Roethlisbooger and Haley hate each other with a passion, where everyone is sniping at Woodley behind his back, and where the entire locker room is toxic, the team is broke, and the coach is on his way out. Great to be a Ravens fan!!!

  22. braven4evr says: Aug 15, 2013 11:55 AM

    We’re starting to look like the Eagles of the South with all these former coaches. I guess that’s ok, as long as we don’t play like they have in the past.

  23. ravensterps says: Aug 15, 2013 11:57 AM

    Sliiiightly misleading headline, but not one of your worst transgressions.

  24. richardmswartz says: Aug 15, 2013 11:58 AM

    There were alot of reasons that Eagles defense was bad. Before Reid fired Castillo out of desparation that defense was improving.

  25. jintsfan says: Aug 15, 2013 11:58 AM

    As a Giant fan I sorely miss him as Eagle’s DC

  26. newagerocker says: Aug 15, 2013 11:58 AM

    I always liked Juan, he’s a good dude and a good teacher. His O Lines were very good. Andy and Juan’s loyalty to each other were their ultimate undoing. I wonder in Juan got a ring since he was only there for a month?

  27. chut26 says: Aug 15, 2013 11:59 AM

    Juandamentals

  28. celty00 says: Aug 15, 2013 11:59 AM

    I watched his post practice interview and he seems like he knows what hes doing. Also sounded pretty down to earth so I can see why the players would like him.

  29. st1llerz1 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:00 PM

    This team loves to toot their own horn more than any team in the NFL. This guy went from a Defensive Coordinator to a “Run Game Coordinator”. Safe to say…he sucks!

    The nest is burning and their playing their violins until the last moment; just like they did on the Titanic

    GO STEELERS!

  30. Neftali Ramos says: Aug 15, 2013 12:01 PM

    Juan Castillo is a great assistant coach. His offensive lines were always one of the best when he was here in Philly.

  31. chut26 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:03 PM

    jintsfan says: Aug 15, 2013 11:58 AM

    As a Giant fan I sorely miss him as Eagle’s DC
    _________________________________

    Considering he was 2-1 against the vagiants I don’t see your point.

  32. ravensdynasty says: Aug 15, 2013 12:09 PM

    Stuff like this is what makes the World Champion Baltimore Ravens the greatest franchise in the NFL, by far.

    #DYNASTY

  33. ilovemyringlessfranchise says: Aug 15, 2013 12:11 PM

    What’s a “run game coordinator?”

  34. GrossmanDaSexCannon says: Aug 15, 2013 12:15 PM

    I’m a little disappointed. I was really hoping you’d use the “Fire Juan Again?” poster. Still my favorite picture from last season…

  35. demolition510 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:19 PM

    Pause

  36. larrydavid7000 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:19 PM

    Wide 9 . LOL LOL LMAO Ya how did that work out.

  37. barbasol11111111 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:21 PM

    Being able to personally motivate Bryant McKinnie into giving a crap is no small feat

  38. dprouse says: Aug 15, 2013 12:22 PM

    It’s always interesting to see the ups and downs of coaches – Castillo was a bum in Philly, but is now on the rise again in Baltimore. Ron Riviera went from a coordinator in Chicago, fired from there, busted down to linebacker coach in San Diego, and is now a Head Coach. Bruce Arians was fired as OC in Pittsburgh less than two years ago, became a hero in Indy, and is now a Head Coach in Arizona.

    As a youth football coach, I am almost always blown away by these guys when I encounter them at clinics. The hours they put in are ridiculous, and their knowledge level about the game never ceases to amaze me. I always think about that whenever fans or media declare Coach A or B to be the scapegoat of the week…

  39. bobbyhoying says: Aug 15, 2013 12:24 PM

    I’ll bet Juan’s results as DC will be far better than this year’s fiasco in Philly.

  40. andyisfat says: Aug 15, 2013 12:27 PM

    Bahahahaha!

  41. harrisonhits2 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:36 PM

    So what they’re saying is last year Castillo rose to the level of incompetence and this year he’s demoted back to something he’s competent at.

  42. trabbit55 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:36 PM

    Larrydavid:
    The wide 9 was more a product of Jim Washburn, the former Eagles and Titans D line coach.
    Andy figured if he surrounded Juan with enough experience, he’d be okay, but it ended up with Juan just conforming to whatever his position coaches preferred. Washburn had a successful run with Babin in a wide 9 technique, so the Eagles figured the pairing would work again.
    Juan had no experience with how to coach a D line, so he left Washburn in charge. Make fun of Castillo for the end result if you must, but the wide 9 was squarely on Washburn, and Andy Reid for putting him in that situation.

  43. attyken says: Aug 15, 2013 12:36 PM

    Maybe Harbaugh should hire Jim Washburn when he becomes available. Juanita 2.0

  44. dgreenfi says: Aug 15, 2013 12:39 PM

    Are you sure he didn’t say Juan Castillo has the finest “T-shirt” in the NFL?

  45. sbchampsagain says: Aug 15, 2013 12:40 PM

    All this AND Jameel McClain just took a $1.5M paycut for the Ravens.

    More cap space for the champs.

    Ozzie, you are awesome.

  46. jtbsteeler says: Aug 15, 2013 12:45 PM

    Clown statement was meant for the kind of WRs the Ravens have on their roster.

    Don’t believe me? Tune in tonight, we’ll discuss tomorrow.

  47. ravenschick says: Aug 15, 2013 12:49 PM

    newagerocker says:Aug 15, 2013 11:58 AM

    I always liked Juan, he’s a good dude and a good teacher. His O Lines were very good. Andy and Juan’s loyalty to each other were their ultimate undoing. I wonder in Juan got a ring since he was only there for a month?

    ***************************************

    Yes, I believe he did. As did Cam Cameron.

  48. steelerben says: Aug 15, 2013 12:50 PM

    Juan Castillo got the shaft in Philly. It wasn’t his fault that the offense kept turning the ball over at an alarming rate. It wasn’t his fault that what should have been the heart of his strike zone in coaching the defensive line to handle what he KNOWS offensive lines will do and how to counter it was taken away from him and he was forced to employ a technique that is incapable of stopping the run and only good when playing with a lead. It isn’t his fault that the Eagles tried to cobble together a team out of free agents to buy a championship.

    The guy is a good coach. That defense was barely given enough time to even start to come together before he was sacrificed to the Philly fans and media. Taking a look at how it worked out with Bowles, a purely defensive guy, it shows that they regressed under a different coach.

    I still think he deserves a shot at coordinating either side of the ball and possibly a head coaching job at some point. You could do worse than having Juanita at the helm. Eric Mangina springs to mind.

  49. mungman69 says: Aug 15, 2013 12:55 PM

    If Reid and Costillo are so tight how come they are working 1600 miles apart.

  50. ccjcsr says: Aug 15, 2013 1:04 PM

    Wide “9”…lol!

    #Eaglesarehorrible

  51. lovedabirds says: Aug 15, 2013 1:05 PM

    This guy took the bullet for Mike “the turnover machine” Vick. As was proven after Juan was let go, the problems ran much deeper than poor Castillo. In Atlanta, Reeves & Mora took the bullet for Vick. In 2010, Akers took the bullet for Vick. In 2012 it was Castillo & Reid.

    When do coaches learn that Vick is a coach killer, keep him around & ultimately not only will you be mediocre at best, sooner or later you will lose your job for sticking with this over-rated, over-hyped poor excuse for a QB. Vick will never win a damn thing, he’ll never be a big game QB.

  52. guitarkevin says: Aug 15, 2013 1:09 PM

    The Ravens don’t toot their own horn moron. They merely give positive feedback. There is no internal strife in the ranks and the players and coaches want to be in Baltimore. Don’t be jealous, be envious.

  53. mwitt5148 says: Aug 15, 2013 1:16 PM

    Juan is an outstanding coach. He was a linebacker in college and a defensive coordinator in high school. When he got to the college level he taught himself how to teach o line because that was the only position open and ended up sending 4 of his players to the NFL and all of them became pro bowlers. Juan was handcuffed as d coordinator with the wide nine scheme. That defense in 2012 was holding teams to an average of 16 points a game and then when he was fired the whole thing collapsed.

  54. scoobies05 says: Aug 15, 2013 1:25 PM

    that steel will be long melted before any nests burn. and jb, worry about the pathetic displays of your team before you worry about the champs.

  55. theravenlives2 says: Aug 15, 2013 1:39 PM

    newagerocker says:Aug 15, 2013 11:58 AM

    I always liked Juan, he’s a good dude and a good teacher. His O Lines were very good. Andy and Juan’s loyalty to each other were their ultimate undoing. I wonder in Juan got a ring since he was only there for a month?

    ***************************************

    Yes, I believe he did. As did Cam Cameron.

    —————————————————
    All full-time employees of the Ravens got Super Bowl rings, be they secretaries or groundskeepers. All of the members of the Ravens Ring of Honor (McCrary, Ogden, Stover, Jamal Lewis, etc..) were also given Super Bowl rings. That’s why the Ravens are such a class organization.

  56. harrisonhits2 says: Aug 15, 2013 1:45 PM

    guitarkevin says:

    The Ravens don’t toot their own horn moron. They merely give positive feedback.
    _____________________

    Yeah right. Biggest mouth flappers in the whole league.

    And the league champion in whining the last several years in a row.

  57. jakethesnake57 says: Aug 15, 2013 2:01 PM

    “But wait Eagles fans said he was terrible…they are never quick to judge and try to run folks out of town. That is weird that he is successful and good at his job”

    Eagles fans never blamed Castillo, Andy Reid was rightfully blamed for putting Juan in an impossible situation and then firing him when he failed. Reid was making a lot of panic moves at the end of his Philly tenure, and giving the D coordinator job to the O line coach was doomed to fail from the start and everyone but Andy knew it!!

  58. birdbath1975 says: Aug 15, 2013 2:04 PM

    good for Juan….an unfortunate Reid casualty

  59. lovefootball4life says: Aug 15, 2013 2:05 PM

    “All full-time employees of the Ravens got Super Bowl rings, be they secretaries or groundskeepers. All of the members of the Ravens Ring of Honor (McCrary, Ogden, Stover, Jamal Lewis, etc..) were also given Super Bowl rings. That’s why the Ravens are such a class organization.”

    ~~~~

    Ah, that’s how JO got his ring. Thought it was really classy he got one when he showed it off during his HOF induction speech but didn’t know it happened.

  60. jimiinpa says: Aug 15, 2013 2:12 PM

    GO STEELERS….and take the pirates with you

  61. barbasol11111111 says: Aug 15, 2013 2:15 PM

    I know a guy who wears one of the mascot suits (the ravens have three of them out there on game day)

    THAT dude got a Super Bowl ring…

    Papa biscotti is good to his peoples

  62. raiders85 says: Aug 15, 2013 2:38 PM

    Wait so all the people who hate this dude think Andy Reid is the greatest coach ever and that walrus put him in a position to fail and threw him under the bus I don’t like Baltimore but they are a class organization you can’t say that about the walrus or the chiefs he will do well in Baltimore

  63. manofsteel2013 says: Aug 15, 2013 2:56 PM

    Why are so many Ravens fans so insecure that they have to bring up the Steelers in a post that has absolutely nothing to do with them. Hats off to the Ravens for a great season and to their true fans, but shame on the wannabes…. Juan Castillo is a great addition to the staff – great guy, great coach!!

  64. southpaw2k says: Aug 15, 2013 3:18 PM

    lovefootball4life says:
    Aug 15, 2013 2:05 PM
    “All full-time employees of the Ravens got Super Bowl rings, be they secretaries or groundskeepers. All of the members of the Ravens Ring of Honor (McCrary, Ogden, Stover, Jamal Lewis, etc..) were also given Super Bowl rings. That’s why the Ravens are such a class organization.”

    ~~~~

    Ah, that’s how JO got his ring. Thought it was really classy he got one when he showed it off during his HOF induction speech but didn’t know it happened.

    ————————————————-

    I didn’t catch his induction speech, but are you sure it was a ring from this past championship? He was on the 2000 championship team, so he would have a ring from that team. Could he have been showing off that one?

  65. hendeeze says: Aug 15, 2013 3:25 PM

    Eagles fans have yet to find out how bad Billy Davis lead defense is.

  66. steves11 says: Aug 15, 2013 3:32 PM

    Castillo’s promotion and ultimate failure in Philly just proves the old adage that people will rise to their level of incompetence.

  67. granadafan says: Aug 15, 2013 3:53 PM

    Reid made a huge mistake in moving Castillo from Offense to Defense. He should never have left O-line, but should have been promoted upwards (staying on offense).

  68. swaggyy says: Aug 15, 2013 3:57 PM

    I’d say as an overall teacher, Tom Cable is the best. No one currently transforms players like he does. His recent work is converting a defensive lineman (JR Sweezy) to offensive guard in one year. Sweezy is going to have a monster year just wait. Tom Cable FTW. Castillo is by no means the best.

  69. iamthefootballjerk says: Aug 15, 2013 4:45 PM

    @ manofsteel2013 says:
    Aug 15, 2013 2:56 PM
    Why are so many Ravens fans so insecure that they have to bring up the Steelers in a post that has absolutely nothing to do with them. Hats off to the Ravens for a great season and to their true fans, but shame on the wannabes…. Juan Castillo is a great addition to the staff – great guy, great coach!!
    ————————————————-
    I think you will see there about an equal number of pro-Steeler posts that bash the Ravens, as there are Ravens fans mentioning the Steelers. The truth is, MOST Ravens fans respect the heck out of the Steelers organization. We just don’t respect the loud mouth fans (that every team has for sure), and dislike a lot of the players (i.e. Ward, Harrison, Woodley). Every team wants 6+ Super Bowls, myself as a Ravens fan included. That is not disputable.

  70. fiddytucker says: Aug 15, 2013 6:27 PM

    I wanted the Cards to pick him up for an o line coach. Great coach if he is put in the right side of the ball

  71. sbaltimore says: Oct 27, 2013 12:05 PM

    He’s such a great coach that the Ravens players are running to the head coach in protest because Castillo has single-handedly WRECKED both the running game AND the passing game with his rigid insistence that the players adapt to his ZBS philosophy.

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