Jason Babin says Eagles made the right call keeping Juan Castillo

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During the 2011 regular season, Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was widely criticized for the Dream Team’s failures, and the “wide nine” alignment he employed was mocked.

But there are some strengths of the wide nine, including the way it frees up outside pass rushers. So it’s not surprising that Eagles defensive end Jason Babin is speaking out in favor of keeping Castillo and keeping the wide nine.

Babin, who had 18 sacks last year, said today that people on the outside jumped on the wide nine after the Eagles got off to a rough start, but that in reality the wide nine was just an easy thing to blame.

“When something isn’t working, and you have a new component, what’s the first thing people look at? The new component,” Babin said. “It’s human nature. If we would have won, what’s the first thing [analysts] would have looked at? The wide nine.”

Babin and Trent Cole seem to be in agreement that the Eagles’ defense was just fine last year, and their bad record was more about some bad circumstances than about having a bad team. And the truth is they have a point: Change a play or two over the course of the entire season and the Eagles would have topped the Giants in the NFC East.

So maybe it makes sense that the Eagles aren’t planning any big changes next year. But you can bet that if the Eagles miss the playoffs again at the end of the 2012 season, no one in Philadelphia is going to want to hear about how keeping Castillo’s defense in place was the right move.

56 responses to “Jason Babin says Eagles made the right call keeping Juan Castillo

  1. Babin and Cole are just selfish, they know that if Castillo would of been fired, That probably would of meant bye bye to the D-line coach Washburn, who especially Babin has been trash without.

  2. Pass rushers do love the wide 9, especially ends, as they have less responsibility vs the run (only contain) and that allows them to rush without inhibition. But you need an offense that scores a lot and forces the opponent to play from behind…. Those C gaps are just waiting to be gashed in the run game.

  3. It pleases me to see some of the veterans on defense speaking up in support of Castillo. If they thought Juan couldn’t get it done, it would have been leaked to the media by now. What they think in the locker room does matter to the team, moreso than it does what people on the outside think. That being said, the defense must play better next year, or they will all be looking for new jobs. Don’t talk about it, just get it done.

  4. I am an Eagles fan, and I hate to say this…all if it…but (ugh):

    1. Keeping Andy at this point was probably the right thing to do. I hate it, but I don’t think this is the year to start over with the lockout and new players and such.

    2. As bad an idea as it was to promote Juan, keeping him is probably the right decision now as well. We can’t have three coordinators in three years.

    3. Juan gets too much blame. There are many new pieces, and Washburn rammed the Wide 9 down his throat. Juan also can’t make Namdi play like he did in Oakland. He can’t make him cover like he should and he can’t make Asante not alligator arm a tackle.

    I hate myself for all of that. I really do. But it’s true. Let’s hope for the best in 2012.

  5. bigshirk says: Feb 13, 2012 8:27 PM

    Babin and Cole are just selfish, they know that if Castillo would of been fired, That probably would of meant bye bye to the D-line coach Washburn, who especially Babin has been trash without.


    Solid work on the facts there… Cole had 52 sacks in the five years from 2006-2010, which is 10.4 sacks per year. He had 11 in 2011 … How is he selfish and reaping such a huge benefit from Washburn?

  6. The Lions run the wide-9. Why does everyone act like the Eagles are the only team in the NFL using it? The only thing that the Eagles need is another DT to step up beside Cullen Jenkins.

  7. The Wide-9 Defense is the only reason you had the stats you did last year. Overall, Babin couldn’t defend against the run. He simply sprinted to the outside of the OT every play. Expect a different blocking approach to his narrow style of play next year.

    Prediction: J. Babin’s stats next year are much worse than last year.

  8. the eagles arent an elite team. they arent much against the run the way they line up. and they arent going to salt away time on a lead even with mccoy.

    but they did have a lot of new moving pieces last year and they lost a bunch of close games.

    i wouldnt be surprised at all if they won 10 games, everything else in their div being the same.

  9. Change a play or two and the Eagles would have topped the Giants for the NFC East???????
    If the Giants changed a play or two they could have had 11 wins including beating the Eagles twice!!!!

  10. “Change a play or two over the course of the entire season and the Eagles would have topped the Giants in the NFC East.”

    Change a play or two and …
    Philadelphia is 6-10 or..
    The Giants are 11-5 not 9-7 or…
    Dallas wins the NFC East or…
    Baltimore goes to the Super Bowl or…
    SF goes to the Super Bowl or…
    NE wins the Super Bowl…
    I could go on and on, but the point is what happened is fact and is now part of the record books forever. You can play the speculation game with any team, but what happened, happened for a reason. The scoreboard doesn’t lie.

  11. @Wmancave001,

    I don’t think Washburned crammed the wide 9 down Juan’s throat. It was Andy who did that by hiring Washburn.

    As for Juan Castillo, I agree he should have never been given the DC job. If he wanted to move to defense, then Andy should have found him a job as LB coach. However, anyone who says he is a bad coach is sadly mistaken. No one was complaining when he was coaching up the likes of Jammal Jackson and Jermane Mayberry. He even got good years from guys like Welbourne and Fraley.

  12. “Juan also can’t make Namdi play like he did in Oakland. He can’t make him cover like he should ”

    sure you can, let him play man to man like he did in oakland and made his name doing.

  13. it’s pretty simple: the wide nine can work very well, but it puts a lot of pressure on the linebackers in the run game. the eagles LBs are small and inexperienced. i like the fire some of them have and saw a good play here and there, but it’s not nearly enough for the wide nine.

    it was the definition of insanity watching that D play for a good portion of the year. casey matthews? enough said. i’ll be interested to see if they pull it together this year.

    they should also consider bringing in a high school coach of the street and putting him in charge of clock management. it would be better than what they have now.

  14. The Eagles players could have packed it in for both Castillo and Reid, but they didn’t…That speaks volumes.

    The are still a very talented team and will come out angry and with a huge chip on their shoulder next year…anyone who doesn’t think they are a threat next year doesn’t know anything about football.

  15. Eli will still slice n dice that wide 9 bs not to mention it leave ya backers suspect vs the run #nygchamps

  16. Maybe I can get a job as an architect in Philly. The subject’s always interested me, and I reworked the plans for my house. That gives me about as much experience in architecture as Juan Castillo had to be a defensive coordinator. And, gee whiz, it’s not like they’re playing around with a multi-billion-dollar enterprise 🙄

  17. Yeah, Eli’s always slicing us up. How many times have you beat us over the last several years? Last seasons 4th quarter collapse, then when before that?? How fast we forget.

  18. Hmpf. When Babin had multi-sack games and the Iggs made adjustments as the year progressed, they won. Imteresting.

  19. dillpx183 says:
    Feb 13, 2012 9:02 PM
    “Juan also can’t make Namdi play like he did in Oakland. He can’t make him cover like he should ”

    sure you can, let him play man to man like he did in oakland and made his name doing.
    No. That was the conventional wisdom early on. And then we saw that Namdi was getting beat in MAN coverage…one one freakin one. I don’t think he sucks, but they guy played poorly.

  20. Keep believing your eagle team didnt have a bad year… Pretty soon you all will be creating that dream team again!

    Bottom line another big shiny trophy for another NFC east team!

  21. Jerseyshoregiant says: If the Giants changed a play or two they would have beat the Eagles twice . Please if Juan would have used his new toy being Asomuagh right and let him play man instead of zone that first win they got over Philly would have never happened in fact a lot of wins against Philly would have never happened . Like east96 what happened Philly went 8-8 period ,but don’t sit here and say the Giants didn’t get help to make the superbowl .I’ll bet any type money that the Saints wish the ref blew the whistle on the two yard line when Pierre got hit and fumbled on the two yard line like when bradshaw fumbled the ball in San Fransisco the whistle blew miraculously. This Giant team had a lot of injuries last year but had depth right . So when they don’t make the playoffs next year there should be no more excuses. Oh yeah and the scoreboard doesn’t lie yeah but the refs do that is the reason the Giants had a chance to win the Siperbowl also I didn’t know you could get a intentional grounding throwing the ball 50 yards to a dumb receiver who ran the wrong way . Don’t get me wrong the NFC East have the most dominate Defensive lines in the league ask any teams that play them ,and it was some bad calls against The Giants but they overcame them to win the superbowl. Congratulations are I’m order to that defensive line , but to say Eli was the reason would be ridiculous he barely beat the sorriest secondary in the game ranked 32nd check the stats.

  22. Commandercornpone says: The Eagles aren’t an elite team. You must be smoking something yeah they haven’t won a championship since 1960 we all know that but other than the

  23. The Patriots since 2000 name another team that has made it to the playoffs more than Philly ? The Colts maybe then who else. You can’t I just gave you the only other team if that is not being one of the elite teams in the league than what is ? Hmm some of you guys just need to shut up with all the hate. Oh yes evidently the wide nine is doing something right didn’t the Eagles tie for most sacks in the league last year . Again I say this check your stats before you speak. Stop talking out your a.. it only makes you look bad you hater. The only fans that should be talking are the Giants they took home the title period. See you next year Eli and I promise u this Philly will rush you up the middle and make you move out the pocket like they did last year in Philly. I still think its funny how teams rushed him from the outside with blitzes and allowed him to move in the pocket and play to his strengths . I’m just saying everybody that watch football knows to beat the Manning brothers you got to pressure them up the middle ,excuse me everybody except the teams they played in the playoffs

  24. Of course, Babin put up crazy numbers because of his scheme. Never mind the run game, he just ran full speed towards the QB on every play, great way for him to make a name for himself.

  25. “Yeah, Eli’s always slicing us up. How many times have you beat us over the last several years?”

    And that’s got you what, now? Two Lombardi trophies in four years vs. “Super Bowl or bust dream team”. I know which one I would pick. 1960, ladies, 1960. We love the taste of your tears.

  26. Babin is a jagghoff!

    Check out his web site where he owns a private game ranch in TX and the animals are served up on a platter for the faux hunters!

    Typical false machisimo for a heeb!

  27. Does everyone realize that the Eagles D were a top 10 D last year but were -14 in Give/Take? Do you know how bad -14 is when your team is producing a ton of INTs and Fumbles? I’ve maintained that the Eagles D certainly held some blame early in the season, but it was a joint effort, but in truth, the offense holds more of a 75/25 split of the bad start. Babin is right and I’m glad somebody came out and said it, Juan is being scapegoated and I’m extremely glad they kept him. Nnamdi played man and got slammed, when they started him in zone with Asante playing roaming FS over the top is when we started to hold up well. I think we’ll see a ridiculously strong defense next year, esp. with all the bad press as board material.

  28. No surprise there, but the wide nine exposed a horrible linebacker corps and weakness at safety that doomed the Eagles season. That is not the fault of Castillo or wide nine. That is a fundamental GM error, which by the way is also the head coach. Another year of Reid’s nonsense and then maybe out he goes, unless he is successful this season, which doesn’t necessarily mean a SB. 😦

  29. I did not watch all of the Eagles games last year, but if they employ the same defense as last year I believe they will continue to be susceptible to the run. The linebacker play needs to be improved but their defensive ends were playing for stats and ignored the run completely. This team also sports the worst tackling secondary in the league. Defensive ends constantly looping, linebackers out of position, and a secondary that can’t wrap up; a recipe for disaster.

  30. It doesn’t matter much what we do, or don’t do, on defense.. as long as Bad Newz Vick is impersonating a quarterback! 🙄

  31. Why wouldn’t Jason Babin be happy about Juan Castillo returning next season? Babin played in a scheme that allowed for him to get a free rush to the quarterback but the main problem with that system was it was ineffective in stopping the running game. Babin is a one-trick pony and so is that Eagles defense for the most part. And, I agree with you tombrookshire, Andy Reid and the brass in Philadelphia have done a terrible job evaluating talent and Castillo had to work with a below average group. Another basement season for the Eagles because Michael Vick will probably go down again.

  32. Thanks Jason that’s reassuring. I’m sure that will bring a SB victory next season because you guys are finally “getting it!”

    For those that would blame the offense remember they broke an NFL record with not 1 not 2 not 3 not 4 but 5 losses after leading entering the 4th qtr. THAT MEANS THEY WERE WINNING AT THE TIME!!!!!!!!

    Also your crazier than cat sh*t if you think that (getting it right now) defensively will bare fruit next season. Reasons being:

    Andy Reid is STILL the coach

    Juan is the DC

    No LB’s (even with rookies they will not have the experience yet nor the coaching system to guide them properly)

    They draft pitifully (whomever you think they’ll pick expect them to pick the smallest lineman possible)

    Andy Reid is the coach

    Anything short of a SB WIN is a losing season.

  33. I am so glad that the Eagles have another guaranteed superbowl winning team again, next season. It wouldn’t be the same without listening to how Phily is going to win, and run the table.


  34. mancave::::::who”s responsible for the three worst linebackers in All Pro Football???? Who believes Casey Matthews can play? Who took asumi and crow out of their natural positions< Who drafted the following flops..Brandon , Shawn Andrews, Jerome McDougal, Allen and the kid from Temple? Who drafted a 28 year old medicore guard in the first round. Who passed on Pieere Paul? Again who starts 7th round picks at linebacker? Any of us could draft better than Reid. Finally who was in The Super Bowl 2 of the last 4 years? Who made the playoffs?….Cinn, 49ers on and on and on and on. Fact: Reid ain"t the guy and he took the team backward in the last 3 years

  35. TO CW3214;;;;; So all we need is another Def Line man? Right lets leave Casey Matthews and the other two7th round linebackers alone. I just love these guys who think they know…..REID HAS NEVER HAD ANY RESPECT FOR THE LB POSITION WHICH IS JUST ONE OF HIS STUBBORN DECESIONS. Every football sports show agrees the Linebackers stink.

  36. Eagles will find a sucker (Like Washington and Arizona) to take Asante. Then we can use man corners in Nnamdi and DRC. Almost traded Asante to SF for Willis, that woulda been the ultimate SUCKER move!!!

    People blame Reid and Castillo, both already proved they can coach, the players just have to get it done.

  37. Bad circumstances being the teams ties to the bad news kennels. Bad circumstances being having Vick under center. So expect another year that people will say the Eagles underperformed. In reality, they will perform exactly as should be expected for a team starting Vick. Some amazing plays. A few big wins. No consistency and no important wins though.
    They will say its a “dengerous team” that can win any game. But they won’t. Maybe 1 playoff win. And thats with luck. Nothing more.

  38. Apparently it annoyed people that I referenced Castillo’s lack of experience for the coordinator position, but come on. The guy played a handful of games on defense 25 years ago and coached on that side of the ball for about 15 minutes in the late 1980s. How can you seriously consider turning over a multi-billion-dollar NFL defense to a man who’s been nothing but an offensive position coach for more than two decades??? That’s insane. No wonder one of the best corners in the league was neutered because they didn’t know how to play him!

  39. I’m FAR from an Eagles fan but I have a friend who is one and when he was bummed earlier in the year I told him that this team was on at least a 2-3 year reworking plan because of all the FAs they brought in, the new DC and the lockout taking away valuable teaching time. Reid isn’t stupid.

  40. east96st says: Feb 14, 2012 12:57 AM

    “Yeah, Eli’s always slicing us up. How many times have you beat us over the last several years?”

    And that’s got you what, now? Two Lombardi trophies in four years vs. “Super Bowl or bust dream team”. I know which one I would pick. 1960, ladies, 1960. We love the taste of your tears.

    Way to refute an argument he’s not even making. He said Eli doesn’t slice up the Eagles. That’s true no matter how many Super Bowls he’s won.

  41. Unfortunately I think keeping Castillo is the right move at this point. If you are going to keep Reid why not give Castillo another yr?
    That said he better learn how to use his players effectively.

    1. Nnamdi is NOT a zone corner, safety etc. Put the guy on the other teams #1 and let him play man. That couldn’t be anymore obvious. I guess Juan never actually saw how Oak used him.

    2. If you are sticking with the Wide-9 you need good LB’s. I know personnel isn’t on Castillo but anointing a rookie LB (who played outside in college) as the starting MLB in a season with a shortened offseason was ridiculous.

    As an Eagles fan I hope they are terrible net year so the whole thing gets blown up. Get rid of Reid and Vick and start over. Those 2 are NEVER getting Phila a ring.

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