By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is about as busy an off-day on a bye week and NFL team can have.
The Eagles have fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and replaced him by promoting secondary coach Todd Bowles.
Castillo spent 18 years in Philadelphia, most of that as a highly-respected offensive line coach. His tenure as defensive coordinator lasted just 22 games – a stretch during which the Eagles were 11-11.
KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Comcast Sportsnet’s Ray Didinger and got his initial reaction to the move.
“Mild surprise in that (head coach) Andy (Reid) decided to do it. Given his long-term relationship with Juan and the fact that Juan was his hire (as defensive coordinator). It was a very controversial hire, Andy took a very bold step in hiring him and there was a deep commitment there. So, surprised that Andy was willing to do that. But not surprised in the sense that I think a lot of people recognized that a change kind of needed to be made after the last two games, losing them at the end.”
Bowles is a Temple product who has spent 13 years as an assistant coach in the NFL. He also served a stint as the Dolphins interim head coach at the end of last season after Tony Sparano was fired.
“I think all the guys on the defensive unit believe in him,” Didinger says. “And I think that’s the big issue. I think there was a lot of guys on that defensive unit that didn’t have a great amount of confidence, or a deep sense of confidence in Juan Castillo, as a guy who was fairly inexperienced as a coordinator. But I do think they do have great confidence in Todd Bowles.”
The Eagles are on the bye this week. Their next game is Sunday, October 28th, at the Linc against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.