Castillo’s future remains unclear


As the Dream Team disintegrated to 4-8, the options facing coach Andy Reid became clear — he’d have to relieve first-year defensive coordinator Juan Castillo of his duties, or Reid would be fired.

But something happened on the way to an ultimatum.  The Eagles’ defense has improved.

As a result, Castillo’s status remains unclear.  Players like quarterback Mike Vick publicly have pushed for no changes to be made, which presumably would include keeping Castillo in his current role.  But reports have surfaced linking Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo to the position held by Castillo, if (when) Spags becomes the former coach of the Rams.

So what would happen to Castillo?  A popular theory, which we may have endorsed a time or two, would move Castillo back to his long-time post of offensive line coach, with Howard Mudd retiring.

But Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer points out the major flaw in that fairly simple (and thus appealing to me) chain of logic.  Mudd has changed the blocking schemes, and Reid may not be interested in changing them back, especially since the offensive line has, in time, made the adjustment to a man whose style they initially resisted.

Of course, Mudd may decide to leave on his own, which would force Reid to consider reverting to Castillo’s style or finding someone who can teach Mudd’s methods, such as assistant strength and conditioning coach Eugene Chung.  But center Jason Kelce told McLane that Chung may not be ready to take over the job.

Regardless of how it plays out, a decision to move Castillo out of the defensive coordinator position doesn’t mean that he’ll automatically move back to coaching the offensive line, which could make Reid more likely to try to keep Castillo where he is.

15 responses to “Castillo’s future remains unclear

  1. Why would they change anything at this point?
    It took them longer than expected to adjust to the new coaching on both sides of the ball, but they have adjusted and now are playing as well as anyone – why would you blow it up and start over again?

  2. Another theory is that Castillo stays DC in name only. Spags would be Assistant Head Coach/Defense, which is kind of what Marty Mornhinweg is.

    Castillo wasn’t the main problem this year (top 5 problem? Yes.). Being a double digit negative in turnover margin was.

    I’m looking at you, Michael Vick.

  3. I would say the big mistake made was the assumption that talented players would be able to adjust and assimilate very quickly. I didn’t and the team is where it is. This is not the DC issue. This was simply too much too fast which led to very poor execution.

    If the Defense plays as it has the past 4 weeks next season, don’t think anyone will complain about Castillo….

  4. derekjetersmansion says:
    Dec 30, 2011 10:44 AM

    Being a double digit negative in turnover margin was.

    I’m looking at you, Michael Vick.


    Other than VY throwing 9 of the 24 INTs, and Mike Vick throwing a LOT less after the O-Line started playing like it should, I agree with you. He threw 8 of his 13 picks before the bye. After they bye, 2 against Dallas but one was a hail mary shot immediately before the half and 1 against Miami and 1 against the Jets. He also had 3 fumbles lost in weeks 1 and 2 and none since then. So again, once he started getting a little bit of protection, he started throwing less picks.

  5. I love Spags, and the thought of him as our DC is enticing, but I think Castillo deserves another season to see this thing through.

    Mudd has to come back…the scheme he has implemented is on the verge of BIG things, and is turning Shady McCoy into an MVP-caliber player.

    Washburn has to come back, as well. It took a while for the Wide 9 to click, but it finally is, and it deserves another year.

    Castillo’s record against the NFC East, as it stands today, is 4-1. His defense is allowing only 13 points a game, on average, to the likes of the G-Men, ‘Boys, and ‘Skins. That is pretty damn impressive!

    I would love for Spags to come in next season as a defensive consultant, but I don’t think that he would go for that. So, give Castillo and crew another shot at this thing next season. Stay away from big name FA’s, with the exception of Stephen Tulloch. He needs to be our one big signing this offseason. Build the rest of the team thru the draft.

  6. Castillo should move over to LB or secondary coach. Mudd should stay on the OL (thanks in part to the fact we drafted and are starting two Mudd-type guys). The OL is playing better week to week.

    Spags should take the defense but, as noted before, will his blitz style work with Washburn’s approach of using the wide 9 technique to create pressure instead of extra bodies?

    Whatever, at least we get a TC next year to iron the new issues out.

  7. Um – why would they keep Castillo as DC OR Offensive Line coach?

    He’s TERRIBLE at being the OL coach. Vick and Kolb were getting slaughtered last year behind that line.

    One of the reasons they moved him to DC was so that they could IMPROVE the Offensive Line, which SUCKED.

    It was a double-switch attempt – replace Sean McDermott AND upgrade the O-Line.

    Well, turns out the O-Line upgrade has worked pretty well – just ask Shady McCoy who is now the best runningback in the NFL.

    The only failure is with Juan Castillo as Defensive Coordinator.

    FIVE blown 4th quarter leads. Four of them were HOME GAMES!!!

    Juan Castillo has no business being in the NFL at ANY position!!!!!

  8. @ bleedgreen

    I think we were spoiled by Donnie Football throwing into the ground, which led to incompletions rather than interceptions.

    You’re right, but they had 25 turnovers all of last year. This year, they had 25 by around the Pats game. It puts the defense in a tough spot, although the defense wasn’t generating nearly enough turnovers early on. Which makes the margin for error even lower.

    Desean doesn’t muff the punt in the CHI game and they probably win that game.

    I keep saying this, but the one thing they didn’t buy in August was urgency. It was alarming how nonchalant they were early, just thinking it would come together. Although it almost did in Washington. That bye week was really at the wrong time.

    What’s interesting is that Reid’s Eagles usually start slow, but not this slow. This is where the lack of urgency was almost logical. However, everyone knew something was up after the SF game.

  9. Defense lost the Falcons game. Offense lost the Giants game. Special Teams lost he Niners game. Guess what – IT’S THE HEAD COACH!

    Just like 2007 – Special teams lost to Green Bay (Greg Lewis a punt retuner?), Offense loses to Skins (four FG’s in the redzone, no TDs), and defense loses to Bears (Brian Greise goes 98 yards in the last two minutes). We win meaningless games down the stretch to finish 8-8.

    2008 – need the Raiders to put us in the playoffs week 17, lose another NFC Championship game that we are favored to win.

    2009 – lose week 17 to Dallas, give away home field, go out in 1st Round.

    2010 – Lose the last two games, give away the bye week, go out in the 1st Round.


  10. The flaw is in assuming that it just took this team time to gel and now they are a great team which will automatically carry over to next year.

    Take a look at the Eagles since 2006 and you will see this pattern every year. A slow start and a hot stretch at the end of the year. In fact, in 2007 an underachieving 5-8 Eagles team won their last 3 to finish 8-8 and the story was very similar to today.

    This team’s early struggles reflect Andy, and Andy alone. He is too stubborn or oblivious to adapt early enough to needs. Same personality flaw that causes him to ignore the run & mismanage the clock.

    Moving Castillo, adding Spagnuolo, or simply doing nothing will probably be enough to get us back to the playoffs in 2012 again, but Super Bowl… no, not with Andy.

  11. Spags is not, repeat, NOT coming back as asst head coach (sharing) defensive duties with JC and sharing Asst head coach with Marty…that makes zero sense…he can be FULL Def coordinator with at least 10-12 other teams by monday with a chance to become THEIR head coach within a year…think Giants…think Minnesota…think Buffalo…think Cleveland…think Jacksonville…think Oakland if they don’t get in…etc…why come here?

  12. @netherscourage

    Castillo was OL coach for 11 years. I didn’t hear much complaining about the OL when the Eagles were going to NFC Championship games. As a matter of fact the OL was one of the team’s strengths for quite a few years and Castillo was the coach. And I didn’t hear anyone praising the OL for the first 12 weeks of the season. Know why? 3 of the 5 OL were new this year. That means they had to replace everyone but Peters and Herremanns from last year. Certainly one can make the case that he was put in over his head as DC ths year, but to say he can’t coach in the NFL is an idiotic statement.

  13. I Love how people just assume Spagnulo will go back to the Eagles in some sort of role as DeFacto Defensive co-ordinator, like the Eagles are doing him a favor.

    Spagnuolo will have his pick of where he wants to go and he probably does not want to go back to Philly and work for Any Reid, when it was Reid who actually held him back from being a co-ordinator. In fact Spanuolo’s last year in Philly was a rough one according to him.

    The GIANTS would have a better situation for him, as would many other teams.

    The GIANTS love Spagnuolo and it could be a great opportunity for him.

    There will also be several openings, so who is to say that he does not go to a whole new staff.

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