Blog Entry

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:57 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:12 pm
CastillorBy Josh Katzowitz

All along, it’s been pretty obvious that, whether Eagles coach Andy Reid kept his job (and it was always pretty clear he was going to do so), Juan Castillo would be out as defensive coordinator. After all, Philadelphia struggled for much of the season with its wide-nine scheme*, and there were rumblings that in order to keep his job, Reid would have to fire Castillo.

Reid denied it at the time, and it looks like he was telling the truth, because according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Castillo will remain as defensive coordinator.

The team also announced that former Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles -- who was a head coaching candidate for the Raiders after leading Miami to a 2-1 record after the Tony Sparano firing -- will take over as the Eagles secondary coach.

*This is what happens when you hire an offensive line coach to be your defensive coordinator.

Clearly, this wasn't all Castillo's fault. The wide-nine scheme was Reid’s idea -- in fact, there was speculation that Reid hired Castillo for the defensive coordinator job because he couldn’t find a suitable DC who actually felt comfortable running that scheme -- and it took a while for Philadelphia’s personnel to make it work.

Add that with a flurry of offseason acquisitions -- including Jason Babin, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- and you can begin to see that not all the defensive inefficiencies could be blamed on Castillo.

"We've just got to continue to work with it," Reid said in October after the Eagles started 1-4. “Listen, anything new you've got to work with and work out the wrinkles and get it right."

"Players, they have to learn it, coaches have to learn it, particularly the new coaches. So it's a joint effort there."

And actually, the Eagles played better defense than you think. According to Football Outsiders, they were the 12th-most efficient defensive unit in the league, and in yards and points allowed, they were a top-10 squad. In the final four games of the year -- all Philadelphia wins -- the Eagles allowed an average of 11.5 points per game.

So, obviously the defense did improve. Based on that, maybe it’s not surprising Castillo was retained in the first place.

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Since: Jul 21, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2012 6:22 pm

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

I think the best way to gauge the 49ers is to wait until next year and see if they pick up where they left off. Based on what I saw in the NFC championship game the niners have a solid defensive squad that had some problems in the passing game. Offensively, and like the Eagles saw in their game, there isn't anything to be scared of (yes even Vernon Davis who disappeared in the 2nd half).

I still haven't made up my mind with this Eagles signing of Bowles but my gut instinct is saying it can't get any worse than last season right? Bowles has had a lot of experience w/ coaching defensive backs so that certainly will help with the inexperience of Castillo. Which begs the questions: With Washburn and Bowles now on the defensive side of the ball, will it be those 2 running the show or will Castillo have some part in that?

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 2:49 pm

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

Tell that to the 49ers who had a new head coach yet made it to the NFC Chamionship.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:52 am

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

I think you probably mean 8th... The Eagles were 8th in total defense (yards), #1 in the NFL sacks, they were 10th in scoring defense which is still good.   Also they would have been more successful if they weren't implementing a new defense and defensive coordinator on a year without a offseason (no minicamp and shortened traning camp).   Also they seemed to get much better as the season went on, in the last four games they outscored their opponents 125 to 46. The Eagles were also 4th in total offense (yards), 8th in scoring offense.   They were probably the most well rounded team in the NFL besides the one fatal flaw of TURNOVERS.  

Fix the turnovers and get a stud linebacker (or two) to plug the gaps on those running lanes and watch out people, the Eagles will be just fine... The SB bound Giants only had 1 more win on the season; and Philly beat them last time they played.  i wanted Steve Spagnuolu back in Philly as D Coordinator but i think Castillo did well enough to get one more chance.  I really think one good linebacker who can stop the run can make the Eagles an elite defense.

Since: Jul 29, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:25 am

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

Great resigning. This should keep the Eagles defense at the bottom for years to come. 

Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:16 am

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

In fairness to Juan; he had a bad year, but most of league was worse.  The Eagles ranked 3rd in the NFC in points allowed and and 9th overall in the league.  They finished the year 11th in yards against.  I watched some great defensive coordinators like Dom Capers in Greenbay (31st overall) and Greg Williams in Norleans (23rd overall) get torched.  The defensive genius Bill Billichick ranked 30th in the NFL in defense and the Giants ranked 26th overall and only turned it on at the end of the season similar to the way the Eagles did.  The difference between those teams and the Eagles is that those teams didn't turn the ball over that often and had more consistent offenses. 

I watched every minute of every game as well (not counting the times when I turned my head in disgust).  As bad as the three corner back experiement was, the biggest problem was the run.  Jason Babin had 18 sacks but he did so while sacraficing the run game.  He is the equivalent of a shooting guard throwing up a bunch of shots, getting his points but playing no defense.  Also, the linebackers were less than bad.  They were putrid.  No Blue Chippers in that group.  The free saftey Nate Allen was coming off of major surgury so the jury is still out on him and my favorite player is the secondary (Curt Coleman) is way too small and gets run over many times despite his best efforts.  Namndi was average against the pass but I didn't realize how poor he was in run support (he shy's away).  On the other side, Asante Samuels has always been recognized as one of the worse tacklers in the NFL.  Say what you want to about Juan but it would be difficult for any defensive cooridnator to win with that.  The defensive lacks heart and it lacks a leader and you can't teach either of those things.

The biggest problem with the team was all of the turnovers on offense and the lack of ball control.  People like to pick on Juan because he was an offensive line coach but all in all, he did a better than average job compared to the other teams and atleast deserves another year to implement his system and get some players with heart in there.


Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:04 am

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

All you need to know is I'm a Giants fan, and I'm very pleased to learn this news.

Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:34 am

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

When was the last time the Eagles did defend the run well ???? The D has always allowed teams to run rampant, but you know what ? They were in just about every game and it wasn't the defense that blew it in the clutch... It was offensive turnovers that cost them many games, and every fourth quarter loss they had this season can be attributed to Vick being injured (SF, who could beat SF this year anyway? and buffalo was a hot team that even beat the pats, just to name two occasions off the top of my head)

you say the defense gave up 30 pts a game, how many times did they start inside their own 20 after a turnover? You just cant look at stats and omit the whole picture. 

it was an 8-8 year and i'm happy with it bc it was a short offseason and implementing key new personel.
if the jets coulda just beat the giants we woulda won the division and made some noise in the playoffs... look where the giants are now with a 9-7 record.

this is just how the chips fell this year and dont expect them to get worse.

Hey we beat dallas 2x only letting them score 7 in each (cowboys season low) plus a 5-1 divisional record.

Do you guys even remember what it was like before reid was there????  there was a reason we had the second pick in 99.  Reid beats the teams he's suppossed to i think was your point in your last paragraph.  thats more than you can ask from many other coaches and teams.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:05 am

You must not follow the eagles

You don't know the situation in Philly. You did not mention Jim Washburn or the fact that the Wide 9 is his scheme for the D and Castillo had to follow another person's system not his own. Research the situation before you blog about it.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:12 am

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

Really, Mr. Katzowitz.  If you're going to throw around numbers trying to sell you readers on the idea that the Philly defense wasn't that bad, give us a chance to play along, too.  Because I have to tell you, from somebody who actually watched the games (which you clearly did not), that defense was awful.

In their eight losses, the Eagles gave up an average of 29.9 points per game and no less than 21.  In many of those games the front line and linebackers were rolled over by teams running the ball and the defense never compensated even when you could see what was coming.  In their eight losses, the opposition averaged 134.6 yards per game rushing and 4.4 yards per carry.  The Eagle front seven had more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.  And the funny part is when the Eagles won, the defense still gave up 4.31 yards per carry.  They were just lucky enough that the Eagles were playing with a lead and the opposition couldn't afford to run the ball as often.  You give up more than 4 yards per carry and the defense can't possibly keep you in games.

The four game win streak at the end of the season, that was a complete mirage.  Let's not forget the Eagles beat a Washington team with nothing to play for, a Dallas team that was completely lost on the field, a Jets team that was bleeding badly before it got on the field, and a Dolphin team completely devoid of talent to challenge the Eagles.

Here's a pair of closing numbers for all of you.  Since Andy Reid's arrival in Philadelphia, here's his record against teams with winning records: 52-61.  He's won only 46% of his games against teams with winning records while he beats up losing teams.  The record against teams with sub-.500 records is 74-20-1 -- a tidy 78.4 winning percentage.  Reid has built a nice little program but he can't get them over the hump of beating quality teams when it counts.  Juan Castillo running the defense in 2011 was just the icing on the cake.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:06 am

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

Andy's presser is today, Can't wait to see how he rationalizes keeping Castillo!  The Late Great Jim Johnson just rolled over in his grave!

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