I’ll never forget my initial reaction back in March when I got a text from philly.com announcing that the Eagles have named Juan Castillo as their defensive coordinator.
I laughed, and I told my dad that I don’t understand how philly.com could mess that up. Then I got another text about it. And another one.
And that’s when I realized that the nightmare was true.
Yes, the Eagles named offensive line coach Juan Castillo as their defensive coordinator, despite Castillo not having coached a defense since 1989. Oh, and that was Kingsville High School.
Reid’s confidence in Castillo made me think that he must know something that we as fans don’t.
After all, Reid has made some gutsy decisions over the years that have paid off tremendously.
He was right in letting McNabb go after the 2009 season. He was right in naming Michael Vick as his starter in 2010.
So maybe he had an idea when he took a longtime offensive line coach and made him the second most important coach on the Eagles.
And then the season started.
On Castillo’s first play as defensive coordinator, Rams running back Steven Jackson rushed 47 yards for a touchdown. The Eagles settled down and won the game, although it helped that Jackson was unable to finish the game, and the Rams dropped about 14 passes.
Over the past three weeks, the Eagles’ defense has just been gashed. Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, and Alex Smith have combined for 10 touchdown passes and just one interception. Michael Turner, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Frank Gore have looked like Jim Brown, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders.
Nnamdi Asomugha has looked like an average cornerback. The linebackers and safeties have played as if they are trying their best to lose their starting job. (And Nate Allen, Casey Matthews, and Kurt Coleman did.) The tackling has been atrocious, at best.
And the wide-nine defense? Well it allows defensive linemen to get to the quarterback but it opens up monster holes for running backs.
Castillo hasn’t had a clue how to adjust in the second half of games. Not a clue.
His defense has blown fourth quarter leads in each of the past three games. The Falcons outscored them 14-0, the Giants outscored them 15-0, and the 49ers outscored them 7-0.
In Major League Baseball, if an inexperienced closer blows three straight saves, he’s done. If a kicker has three straight bad games, he’s probably looking for a new job.
Defensive coordinator isn’t a position that just anybody can go. You can’t just promote an offensive line coach to defensive coordinator and expect him to have success right away.
The Eagles are basically on their third-string defensive coordinator. Jim Johnson tragically lost his life to cancer in 2009. Sean McDermott was named his replacement but lost his job after two brutal seasons. And Castillo is Reid’s desperation pick as the coordinator for 2011.
I don’t understand why we couldn’t hire a real defensive coach. Our safeties coach Johnnie Lynn is a former defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. Our defensive line coach Jim Washburn just completed an incredible 12-year stretch with the Tennessee Titans.
Now would have been a perfect time to name him the defensive coordinator. And if you want to move Juan Castillo to the defensive side of the ball, make him the defensive line coach, where he is somewhat familiar with the defense (and can follow Jim Washburn’s wide-nine scheme).
One of the biggest reasons why Reid made Castillo a defensive coordinator is because Castillo wants to be a head coach one day and this will help his “resume”.
Whatever happened to earning your title? The guy wants to be a head coach one day. Doesn’t every coach? Make him the defensive line coach. Let him leave to go to another team.
But don’t name him the defensive coordinator, supply him with a boatload of talent, and expect that he can get the job done.
This isn’t an internship. This is real. Castillo’s in-job training is costing the Eagles this season.
Therefore, it’s time for him to go. Now.
It’s panic time for the Eagles. Complete and total panic time.
Andy Reid’s job is in jeopardy. If he doesn’t win this year, he’s probably done.
Make the switch. Get rid of Castillo. Promote Washburn to defensive coordinator. Let him continue working with the defensive line.
See if it works. It can’t hurt the team.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Firing Juan Castillo needs to be done.