Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Castillo: LBs stay the same

Juan Castillo liked the way his linebackers performed against the New York Giants, so much so that he doesn't plan on re-shuffling the starting group.

Castillo: LBs stay the same

Juan Castillo said he will use the same linebacker combinations next week against the 49ers. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Juan Castillo said he will use the same linebacker combinations next week against the 49ers. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

Juan Castillo liked the way his linebackers performed against the New York Giants, so much so that he doesn't plan on re-shuffling the starting group.

"Yeah, looks like for this week," the Eagles defensive coordinator said.

Castillo told two other reporters in a separate interview, however, that it was too early in the week to decide on personnel changes.

Last week, Castillo moved Jamar Chaney from strong-side linebacker into the middle, Casey Matthews from the middle to weak-side and flipped Moise Fokou from weak-side to strong-side. The Giants, in their 29-16 win over the Eagles Sunday, gained 102 yards on the ground on 25 carries. New York running backs, however, rushed for 105 yards on 22 tries.

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"I had a couple of blitzes where we didn't get right fits and they hit a couple of runs on us," Castillo said. "But besides that, I thought in the run game we did a decent job. I liked where the linebackers were."

Castillo did say that rookie Brian Rolle, who has mostly played in the nickel, could see his playing time increase.

"He had a couple nice plays," Castillo said. "Yeah, his role will continue to increase as we go forward."

One permanent change could come at safety. Kurt Coleman was benched and replaced by Nate Allen in the first quarter after he failed to tackle Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz on a 74-yard touchdown reception.

"They're both interchangeable," Castillo said of Coleman and Allen. "It switched before with Jarrad [Page] and Nate. We feel comfortable with all three guys."

What about Jaiquawn Jarrett? The Eagles' second-round draft pick has yet to dress.

"We'll just have to see," Castillo said. "Right now it's probably those three guys, as Jarrett continues to understand our scheme, I think then we'll see it because he's a pretty good tackler."

Coleman wasn't the only Eagles defensive player to miss a tackle Sunday. In fact, Allen had two misses himself. Overall, there were 12 missed tackles, according to one estimate, with Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw breaking out of nine would-be stops.

"Part of that is the running back, he's a pretty good running back," Castillo said. "But we got to make that those tackles and we'll continue to work on our fundamentals."

Castillo has had a rough start to his tenure as defensive coordinator. The 1-2 Eagles have allowed 25.7 points a game, and while Castillo's pass defense is ranked eighth overall, the run defense is 30th in the league heading into tonight's games.

"Things will start changing, that's just the way it happens," Castillo said. "It always has for us in the past with coach [Andy] Reid."

What if it doesn't change?

"There's no such thing in 'It doesn't,'" Castillo said. "It always has. You go through all the years. We've started even worse than 1-2 before and we stayed the course."

The Eagles have now started 1-2 four times under Reid -- in 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2011. They made the playoffs the first two years, but did not in 2007 when they also lost three of their first four.

The Eagles host the 49ers on Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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