Following the firing of defensive coordinator Sean McDermott at the end of the 2010 season, the Philadelphia Eagles needed a defensive coordinator.
The rumors were flying. Jeff Fisher was the fan favorite. Jim Mora was a possibility. Darren Perry (Packers’ secondary coach) was my preference.
I really didn’t care too much. I trusted Andy Reid. He’s made some gutsy calls in the past (Vick over Kolb) and they’ve usually worked.
Then Reid named Juan Castillo as the defensive coordinator. The same Juan Castillo who had served as the Eagles’ offensive line coach for over a decade.
A man whose defensive coaching resume looks exactly like this:
- Texas A&M University–Kingsville (1982–1985)
(Defensive line/Linebackers coach)
- Kingsville High School (1986–1989)
(Linebackers coach/Defensive coordinator)
That’s a Division II college and a high school. And that’s it.
Reid’s justification was that Castillo is a defensive guy and has always been a defensive guy, and by coaching an offensive line, he knows the defense so well.
That’s cute. But this is the National Football League. There isn’t time for “on-job training” for coaches who haven’t coached their position at a professional level.
I can’t blame Juan Castillo for the atrocious defense. It’s not Castillo’s fault that he hasn’t been able to succeed without an offseason to work with his players. He didn’t draft Casey Matthews and make him a starter immediately. He didn’t decide to go with Jim Washburn’s “wide-nine” defense without bothering to acquire linebackers. He didn’t draft Brandon Graham or Victor Abiamiri or Trevor Laws (or any of the other useless draft picks the Eagles have wasted on defensive players over the past few seasons).
Everything wrong with the defense is Andy Reid’s fault. He hired Juan Castillo. He’s the head coach.
And after 13 seasons and no Super Bowl, and a third straight season without winning a playoff game (because trust me, we’re not making the playoffs this season), it’s time for Reid to go.
Thanks for the memories, Andy. Unfortunately our lasting memory will be of your decision to promote your freaking offensive line coach to defensive coordinator.