A day later, the thing I can't get over RE the Juan Castillo firing is this: If Michael Vick's third-and-four pass to Jeremy Maclin hadn't been batted down with a little more than two minutes left in Sunday's loss to Detroit, the Eagles would have won, and I'm pretty sure Castillo would still be the Eagles' defensive coordinator. If Brent Celek hadn't been called for offensive pass interference, and the Birds had scored a TD instead of a field goal with 4:32 left in the third quarter, they probably would have won, and I'm pretty sure Castillo would still be the defensive coordinator.
Nobody fires the defensive coordinator at 4-2, when the defense keyed at least two of the four wins. Andy Reid would tell you it wasn't down to Sunday, that he saw trends reemerging from last season -- basically, adroit offensive coordinators outflanking Castillo when it mattered.
The problem is, everybody else in the world pegged this as a fatal trend last year. Saw it happening enough to know Reid's idea that Castillo could run an NFL defense because he used to talk strategy with Jim Johnson was absurdly naive and unworkable, bizarrely so for a head coach who prides himself on building his decisions on detailed background work. By the middle of last season, people around the team were pretty open with their belief that Castillo was in way over his head. Despite the four straight wins at the end of the year, I sure didn't expect Reid to keep Castillo in charge. I figured Juan, loyal, and earnest, would get some sort of fancy title, and somebody like Todd Bowles would come in to run the D.
it's almost as if Reid knew this day was coming last January, brought Bowles in, gave him time to get a feel for the team and the situation, then put him in charge as soon as the bye week arrived, the only in-season breathing room an NFL team gets. Bowles and Reid vigorously denied the existence of any plan along those lines Tuesday. Maybe it wasn't a "plan," exactly, but I can't believe Reid, who isn't crazy or dumb, sat down after last season, reviewed all the games, and convinced himself Castillo was going to be just fine if he brought in a little experienced help.