By Andy Wheeler
The Eagles continue to confuse and anger me at every turn. Thank God Beasley was here to calm me down.
Before I start my yelling rant filled with anger and disgust, I’d like to congratulate Juan Castillo for his promotion. The guy works really hard and has been a good solider for the Eagles since 1998. My dealings with him have been positive ones and I’ve never heard one bad thing about him. By all reports he will put 200% into his new job.
Now to my rant – You have got to be kidding me, right? For the better part of a month, we fans and media have been left to wonder who the next Defensive Coordinator would be.
Who was going to come into this organization and give us a fresh perspective on how to fix one of our biggest problems? What person with experience and the know how to fix the defense quickly would they bring in? Who was going to make us a legitimate Super Bowl contender?
Our Offensive Line Coach, but of course.
I have now literally seen it all with this team.
Players and coaches love Castillo. But if you were to take a look and grade the Defensive Coordinator from last year, Sean McDermott, you’d say that he could have been considered under experienced and at times overwhelmed.
So the solution to the problem is to bring in a guy that hasn’t been a Defensive Coordinator since Kingsville High School in Texas in 1989!
I’m completely blown away, confused and enraged by this decision.
At least I was.
Whenever something like this football related happens, I have to go talk to Beasley. Sometimes we argue…but most times I learn something. And this time he calmed me down.
His main point was don’t go down the most obvious road with this hire because it’s too simple just think they made a poor choice. “The Eagles aren’t stupid, they aren’t going to hire someone they think can’t do the job.”
He’s got a fair point. Why would they hire somebody if they didn’t KNOW they could do the job and do it well. It would be like asking someone to drive your car if they didn’t know how. Why would anybody do that?
Other points he made were pretty good. Castillo was a linebacker in College and in the Pro’s (USFL) so he’s always thinking like a defensive player. To quote Beasley, “No matter what kind of coach you are, you always see the game the way you did as a player. It’s how you originally understand things, and Juan had to learn to be an offensive line coach because he was a linebacker.”
Another few points calmed me down even more, “being a coach is like being a school teacher, one year you can teach Math the next English or Science. Coaching is the same thing. If anybody understands pressures and blitzes and schemes and how a defense operates, it’s the offensive line coach because he has to stop them”
And then to drive home that point, former Eagles coach and now Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier had this quote about the hiring of Castillo for the job as Defensive Coordinator.
“I have a strong affinity for Juan going back to our days spent together in Philadelphia. I can remember Jim Johnson and our defensive staff putting our game plans together and we’d always get together with Juan just to make sure they were sound in terms of pressures and blitzes. Sometimes, I felt like he was on our defensive staff. And to this day, he and I talk every week during the season to talk about other offenses in the league. That’s how much respect I have for him as a coach and how well he is able to understand the defensive schemes.”
The final point in favor of this, which I actually made to Beasley without realizing it until he pointed it out to me was…he’s not teaching the defense he’s coordinating all the parts. He’ll have Defensive Line, Linebackers and Secondary experts handling the individual positions…he’s just putting everything all together. And the Eagles already have hired one of the best Defensive Line coaches in the league in Jim Washburn.
So my initial anger at the Eagles has been calmed to a dull annoyance. I’m annoyed we didn’t get a proven defensive name. I’m annoyed they made us wait all this time just to hire someone in house. I’m annoyed that there might be growing pains from another coach this year as he learns on the job. Most of all I’m just annoyed at the Eagles…why do they always do this to me?