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Eagles Name Juan Castillo Defensive Coordinator

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles searched far and wide for a new defensive coordinator. In the end, they found a familiar face right in their own backyard.

Juan Castillo, who spent 13 seasons as an Eagles offensive line coach and has been with the organization for 16 years, will switch over to the defensive side of the ball, and replace Sean McDermott, who was fired on Jan. 15. The team, which also added Howard Mudd as the new offensive line coach to replace Castillo, made the announcement on Wednesday.

“It’s a tribute to the hard work, the diligence and the kind of football coach he is,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “I think if you have the opportunity to talk to any player, if you have an opportunity to talk to any coach that has been a Philadelphia Eagle, and many coaches throughout the league, what might seem a little strange is just a very confident move, and one that will take our defense to another level.”

A former linebacker at Texas A&I (1978-80), Castillo, 51, played for the USFL’s San Antonio Gunslingers (1984-85), and also was an assistant at Texas A&M-Kingsville from 1982-85.

“I think if you talk to the defensive guys, especially the front seven, I’ve always told them I’m a defensive guy who got stuck on the offensive side,” Castillo said. “That took a lot of years of studying. That was a tough deal. What happens is you start to be perceived as an offensive guy.”

Castillo is one of few NFL coaches of Hispanic descent. He is fluent in Spanish and has promoted the NFL product for its Spanish-speaking audience.

“Juan is one of the smartest and most dynamic coaches in the NFL,” Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “If anyone could cross over to the dark side (of defense), he’s the guy.
Seriously, if anyone can do it, Juan Castillo is able to do it. I don’t know if I have seen anyone any more committed as a coach in this league than him.”

Castillo joined the Eagles in 1995 as an offensive assistant under coach Ray Rhodes. He was promoted to tight ends coach in 1997, and then offensive line coach in 1998.

“I have a strong affinity for Juan going back to our days spent together in Philadelphia,” Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “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 do this day, he and I talk every week during the season to talk about other offenses in the league.”

Castillo was one of four members of Rhodes’ staff to be retained by Reid in 1999.

“Great move by Coach Reid. Juan is a football junkie who has always studied the entire game,” said St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, a former Eagles assistant. “He’s a detailed, aggressive, and passionate football coach—all attributes vital to coaching defense.”

The Eagles won the NFC East this season, but lost to the eventual NFC-champion Green Bay Packers, 21-16, in the wild-card round at Lincoln Financial Field. After the dramatic, come-from-behind, 38-31 win over the New York Giants at The Meadowlands, they finished the year with three consecutive losses, all at home.

McDermott’s defense finished 12th overall, giving up 327.2 yards per game.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • A moron in Philly.

    I want to hit what they hitting in that organization. They got some “S”: Class stuff in there making moves like this…My goodness what the hell is going on in Philly. Why can’t I have a good offseason.

  • Gomer Pyle

    PLEASE sell the team to someone who is really interested in winning a Super Bowl!!

  • Bosco

    This organization is obviously out of control and living in some kind of “la la” land. Lurie is more worried about installing wind generators on the stadium and portraying the “look at us & what we’re doing” than winning a Super Bowl! I hope there isn’t a CBA for the next 2 years……maybe he’ll become a little bit humble to us poor working people that USE to support AND pay for his team……..”Gold Standard”? I think NOT! Nowhere near it Jefferie……not even by a long shot.

  • Jagleesh

    Lurie + Banner + Reid + Castillo = I will NO LONGER be a season ticket holder, after 12 years….enough IS enough. Times yours………..

  • Ty martin

    Andy is a winner, i don’t care if it weak NFC, he always makes the right decision!!! When we needed a Wr we got thrash,when we needed LB Harrison,Woodley,and Mathews(all playing Sunday) we got Earnie Sims, Dt to stop the run we got bunkley,Babins sack total was not enough we got rid of the slacker(the jerk only got 12.5 sacks this yr)when we go to battle in war they send the airforce and the army,we just send airforce why risk the army,brilliant, this is the game of inches,when u need a great clock management,Andy is our MAN!! when it is 3rd and 2 or 4th and 1 u have complete faith in andy reid cause u know he will pass and we always get the first down cause our RB only ave 5.2 yds a carry,save the army,but at the end of the day i can go to sleep knowing andy reid is our coach

  • Vic

    This is like hiring your gardener to do your plumbing The truth is it does not matter whose coaching they simply don’t have the players no blue chippers no championship!!!!!!!

  • grumpy

    And the downward spiral continues…..

  • Lornix Williams

    After yet another questionable move, its no wonder why the other city in this state has so many super bowls, and are currently playing for their seventh. I am sick of watching other teams win championships, while we “try” to remain competitive, this isn’t gold standard this is gold plating on top of old copper. Nice move Andy, you finally ran out of tape, glue, and gum, for this patchwork band of misfits you call a team.

  • Alec

    What in the world? Let’s reward a guy with no common sense about offense to manage our defense?!?! I think I’ll take McDermott back, this is ridiculous. Without Vick any other QB would’ve taken a record number of sacks this year because Castillio couldn’t do his job with the O’line.

    Drug test Andy and the front office, somebody is on something.

  • frank d

    yo andy please go somewhere else and do a better job. frank d

  • Jeff Hasso

    maybe since he let vick get sacked all the time,he can copy the other defensive coordinators ,wow what a stuoid move!!!

  • jeff hasso

    maybe since he let vick get sacked all the time he can look at the game films and copy the other defensive coordinators wow what a stupid move!!


    Very very very very bad move in my opinion….first, the timing…um,can we wait and interview a few duper bowl possible opportunities first? Secondly, I’m not sure if anyone noticed for the last few games and years is that the eagles offense of line has been HORRIBLE and would be ranked first for most sacks and one of the only reasons they weren’t was of the legs of McNabb, which began to slow down and Vick’s legs……not to mention, the players they choose is horrible…..
    I am tired of Andy Reid….he needs to go……

  • mike in Philly

    Does it really matter with no running game???

  • Stick

    Andy Reid is as dumb as a fox. It seems as though he wants out – but with the money. What better way then to get fired over a move such as this. His next play will be the hiring of a quarterback coach for the D-backs.

  • Penelope Smith

    They switched the wrong guy. They need to get rid of ANDY REID !!!

  • juastin banks

    Mmmm! Mmmm! gotta do a better job

  • A-Train

    The Eagles have confused Groundhog Day with April Fools Day. Good joke. Now tell us Andy who’s really gonna coach the D?

  • Jim Wilmer

    The offensive line had room for improvement. So, they put a guy who was on the offensive for 13 years as Coach of Defense!!!! I think its going to be a long year!!!

  • Lee

    Does anybody know what they are doing over there?

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