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It’s Time To Start Giving Juan Castillo Credit

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By Spike Eskin & Adam Reigner

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Andy Reid named Juan Castillo the Eagles defensive coordinator before the 2011 season, it was considered by most, if not all, to be a risky decision. Regardless of Castillo’s past as a linebacker, he had never held the position of defensive coordinator, or the position of any sort of defensive coach at all in the NFL.

Though a learning curve should be expected in a situation like this, it definitely was not accepted. The Eagles were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders in 2011, and once again in 2012.

Though both Castillo himself, and the decision to put him in this position have been questioned ad nauseam, it looks like Castillo may have not been such a bad choice overall. Consider the following improvements:

Eagles points allowed in the first 12 games with Castillo as DC: 21.8

Eagles points allowed in the last nine games with Castillo as DC: 14.5

Eagles opponents third down conversion rate in the first 12 games with Castillo as DC: 37%

Eagles opponents third down conversion rate in the last nine games with Castillo as DC: 29%

Eagles opponents red zone conversion rate in the first 12 games with Castillo as DC: 70%

Eagles opponents red zone conversion rate in the last nine games with Castillo as DC: 31%

Eagles points allowed in the fourth quarter the first 12 games with Castillo as DC: 7.9

Eagles points allowed in the fourth quarter in the last nine games with Castillo as DC: 5.3

This is not to say that Castillo doesn’t have help, his defensive coaches are a bit of an all-star team. But if we were prepared to blame Castillo for his failures as defensive coordinator, it’s probably fair to congratulate him on his success.

*All stats compiled by Adam Reigner (on Twitter @AdamReigner)

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