Juan Castillo called himself “a defensive guy that’s gotten stuck on the offensive side” as he was surprisingly introduced as the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator.
Castillo replaces the fired Sean McDermott, who would later become defensive coordinator with Carolina.
“It’s a tribute to the hard work and diligence and the kind of football coach he is, if you have the opportunity to talk to any player, the opportunity to talk to any coach who have been a Philadelphia Eagle,” coach Andy Reid. “What might seem a little strange is just a very confident move and one that will take our defense to another level. I look forward to the combination of [new defensive line coach] Jim Washburn and Juan Castillo and the new additions that will play out over time.”
Reid said “there are a couple of pieces to the puzzle.” The Eagles also announced the hiring of Howard Mudd as offensive line coach.
Reid said he knew of Castillo’s desire to be a defensive coach, but said he told Castillo that he would be his offensive line coach until he found someone else who could do the job as well.
“This decision, I take my time making decisions. That’s what I do. I evaluate,” Reid said. “I am losing a great offensive line coach, I am also gaining a great one. I wasn’t going to weaken the offensive line and the coaching there. I had to do a little bit of evaluation and it took a little bit of time to get the pieces together.”
Reid was asked about this being another in a string of risks for the Eagles.
“Somewhere Mike Holmgren took a risk and took a line coach and made him a quarterbacks coach,” he said, speaking of himself. “I’m sure that wasn’t perceived as the prettiest picture. Some of you guys when I came here and you were looking at me going who is this guy. I went from to not being a coordinator to being a head football coach. Jeffrey and Joe, they took a risk. They did their homework to make that risk amongst themselves, a secure risk … There was a confidence there. I understand that.
“It’s important for any of us when doors open in life, you have that opportunity, now you take advantage of that opportunity. I have absolute full confidence that Juan will do that … There are certain guys that give you the confidence that they can do anything, and he’s one of them.”
Added Castillo, “All my life has been a risk .. My life has always been about proving people wrong and I think that’s what Philadelphia is.”
Reid said the terminology will remain the same. “He knows the terminology as well or better than anbody that we use here. It’s not that we have to change that as we make that change.”
As for Castillo, he said, “We’re going to get back to being physical and fundamentally sound here … Jim Washburn was brought here to get our defensive line up the field. We’re going to be fast, physical and fundamentally sound and be the best defense in the NFL.”
Reid insisted the Eagles have “good football players” and went on to laud the job by general manager Howie Roseman and his staff.
Castillo is noted for his intensity and energy on the offensive line
“If I can do that with 35 guys, can you imagine what our defense will be like here?” he said. “We want to win the Super Bowl … I wanted to take the philosophy I used on my line and use it with the defensive side.”
Castillo mentioned how excited he was and how excited the players are for the future.
“I have been here with a lot of the guys,” Castillo said. “They know me as a defensive guy. I am always getting after their butt [on the offensive line] … The players are going to learn what you emphasize.”
Reid talked about how excited Washburn and Mudd are to join the staff.
“I am looking for guys that are bringing energy and want to be here and help the Philadelphia Eagles,” Reid said. “I have young players who bring energy. I can’t wait to get everybody here and get this thing rolling.
The Eagles have openings at linebackers coach and in the secondary.
"Juan and I are going through that process right now,” Reid said. “We will take it from here and move.”
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