SHOCKER…Eagles Promote Castillo to Defensive Coordinator

Just when you thought the Eagles couldn’t surprise us more, they do it again. I mean we’re talking about the franchise that took Donovan McNabb over the guy everyone thought they were taking, Ricky Williams. We’re talking about the franchise that traded back into the 2nd round and then used the selection (their first of the draft) to select QB Kevin Kolb, a position it did not seem like we needed. We’re talking about a franchise that signed QB Michael Vick fresh out of jail to utilize as a “Wildcat” QB only to help him return to Pro Bowl form. We’re talking about a franchise that has never been short on interesting surprises and they just hit us with another one. 

After searching for over two weeks to find a new Defensive Coordinator, the Eagles have finally found him. And he was there all along. The Eagles have promoted line coach Juan Castillo to Defensive Coordinator. No, not defensive line coach Juan Castillo but offensive line coach Juan Castillo. Castillo will be heading to the other side of the ball to head up the  defense.

This is clearly a surprise simply because Castillo comes from the other side of the ball and thus one would assume that he  has little to offer to the defense and probably has not been to in tune with what the Eagles defenses have been about throughout the years, but who knows, maybe that’s a good thing; maybe it is a fresh perspective. This is also quite a surprise, because if the Eagles were going to promote from within, what took so long. Why didn’t they promote him a long time ago? Many speculated that the Birds wanted to wait until after the Super Bowl to interview candidates from the Packers and Steelers but I guess that wasn’t the case.

Castillo does have some experience on the defensive side. He was a linebacker for years in the USFL and coached defense on the high school level. That is the highest level that he ever coached defense on. Castillo came to the Eagles in 1995. He has served as an assistant, tight ends coach, and offensive line coach. The Eagles line has been stellar since 1998 when Castillo took over. He has produced numerous pro bowl lineman and was quite successful at protecting quarterbacks from Donovan McNabb to Michael Vick.

The Eagles also announced that they have hired Howard Mudd to be the offensive line coach. Mudd has a stellar resume and coached the Colts’ line from 1998 to 2009. The Colts had perhaps the best line in the NFL during that span allowing only 227 sacks, which was far fewer than any other team in the league.

Castillo will be introduced along with Andy Reid tonight at 6pm. Obviously, it is too soon to make a judgement on this move just yet. We are going to have to wait and see. The bottom line is this. Andy Reid had full control over the search so this is his call. If Castillo is horrible on the defensive side, Reid could be the one who takes the fall, but if Castillo is great, Reid will be a genious. At some point this season, we shall know.

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