Nnamdi Asomugha had 'tough time' being linked to Juan Castillo's dismissal

Nnamdi Asomugha with Juan Castillo after the Week 1 win over Cleveland. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Nnamdi Asomugha arrived in Philadelphia just as Juan Castillo took over as defensive coordinator. Part of the criticism Castillo endured, in fact, had to do with how he used Asomugha. When the news was released, Asomugha's name was often mentioned as a critic of Castillo's. After the Lions game, Asomugha openly wondered why the Eagles changed their coverage scheme in the fourth quarter of a 26-23 loss to the Detroit Lions. Asomugha said Tuesday that his remarks after the game were not intended as interpreted. 

"I had a tough time when those stories come out. It's more so a character thing, and it's something I would never do as a player," Asomugha said. "There's no underlying -- this was said, but it might have meant this. I wouldn't do that to a coach, and especially Juan. Just because as far as the player-coach relationship, we had been so communicative. It wasn't a good feeling. But after speaking to him and letting him know that wasn't the case, that made it a lot better. But I don't think it had anything to do with him being let go or anything."

Asomugha also contended the notion that confidence in Castillo was eroding on the Eagles' defense. But it's a bottom-line business, and the Eagles lost fourth-quarter leads in consecutive weeks. Because of that, the issues that festered became too obvious. 


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"We all felt like, or feel like, we're a really good defense," Asomugha said. "We played well. I think there were moments we didn't play well. But I think just the bottom line is winning games. You win games, and none of this is talked about. It might be talked about still, but it's not going to get to the level it got to."

The Eagles returned to practice on Monday for the first time under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles after Castillo's dismissal last week. Asomugha praised Bowles, his position coach, but also emphasized the respect he held for Castillo.

"It's part of the business of football," Asomugha said. We all respect [Castillo]. I respect Juan as a man and as a coach. He's going to land on his feet and do well. It was tough hearing it because I've seem him grow so much."