Feb 022011
New Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo

New Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo

By Justin Adkins:

Well, it’s safe to say no one saw this one coming.  The Eagles have hired Juan Castillo as their new defensive coordinator.

Castillo has been the Eagles offensive line coach for the past 13 seasons.

Offensive. Line.

When news first broke it was assumed to be yet another joke being made at the Eagles expense.  With the team drawing out the hiring process and just seeming confused about how to effectively manage a professional football operation, both in this process and in general, the Eagles were an easy target.

But no, this is 100% true.  The Eagles will be conducting a press conference to introduce their new defensive coordinator at 6:30pm this evening.

Castillo, 51, has been with the Eagles since 1995.  He has never coached professionally on the defensive side of the ball.  He started as an offensive assistant for the Eagles, moving to tight ends coach before taking over the Oline. 

Eagles sycophant Howard Eskin is of course lauding the move on WIP, saying Castillo was well prepared in his interview and has always wanted to coach defense.  Eskin’s co-host, former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese, was able to provide some actual relevant analysis, stating that the late Jim Johnson worked very closely with Castillo on devising blitz schemes, explaining that Johnson wanted to know how an offense would react and sought to dictate to them accordingly. 

Hopefully this experience will assist Castillo as he steps into Johnson’s enormous defensive shadow. 

The other downside to hiring a career offensive coach to take over the defense is actually losing him from the offense.  Castillo is considered one of the top offensive line coaches in all of football, is well respected by his peers and players, and presided over a very cohesive and successful line for most of Reid’s tenure — it’s not Castillo who assembled the talent-lacking slop of the past couple seasons.  And now that group will need to find a way to succeed without him.

Replacing Castillo as offensive line coach is the un-retiring Howard Mudd, late of the Indianapolis Colts, where he coached the offensive line from 1998-2009.  Prior to that, Mudd has been the offensive line coach at the University of California (1972-73), San Diego (1974-76), San Francisco (1977), Seattle (1978-82), Cleveland (1983-88), Kansas City (1989-92) and Seattle (1993-97).

That’s 36 years of experience coaching the Oline, so hopefully the Eagles will benefit from that as they continue to work to get back to the solid unit they enjoyed through most of the 2000’s.

Lastly, as one would expect there are many a joke running rampant on Twitter regarding the move.  The best I’ve seen so far comes from @FuquaManuel of thegoodphight.com, who said, “Someone please tell me “Juan Castillo” is Spanish for “Jeff Fisher”.

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