Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Reasons Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo Has to Go

WesAnalyst IDecember 29, 2011

Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Reasons Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo Has to Go

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    Juan Castillo was the perfect candidate to step in as defensive coordinator.

    As the team's former offensive line coach, Castillo game-planned against defenses each week. So if he knew how to slow a defense down, figuring out how to get the most out of defense would be too difficult.

    It didn't work out that way, now did it?

    The defense looked soft for most of the season and was easily the biggest weaknesses in what many consider one of the most disappointing seasons not only in Eagles history, but in Philadelphia sports history.

    If Howard Mudd never came out of retirement, Castillo would be living in relative obscurity. But thanks to a dreadful season, he is a household name headed for the coaching guillotine.

Poor Schemes

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    Were the linebackers bad?

    Yep.

    How about the safeties? Were they any good?

    Nope.

    Too bad that doesn't get Castillo off the hook. His defensive line and cornerbacks were good enough to overcome the deficiencies at other positions.

    There were no blitzes until the team's playoff chances were all but gone. He never allowed his defensive playmakers to make plays. His defense looked confused even though it was painfully obvious what the opposition was going to do.

    How many times did he have Nnamdi Asomugha playing  zone, even though Asomugha excels in man-to-man coverage?

    The real kicker came when Castillo didn't drape Asomugha all over Larry Fitzgerald. Instead, Castillo allowed rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett to cover Fitz.

    Was it mentioned that the safeties stunk?

    Well if we all knew it, why didn't Castillo?

    No one was asking Castillo to reinvent the wheel. But what we saw this year was unacceptable.

4th Quarter Meltdowns

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    The NFL has become the NBA.

    No lead is safe and almost every team goes on some sort of run before the game is decided in the final minutes.

    Does that mean fans have to tolerate five fourth-quarter comebacks?

    The first comeback came against Atlanta.

    Let's be generous and give him a pass. Atlanta's offense is dangerous in the Georgia Dome, and Michael Vick didn't play late in the fourth quarter.

    The next two, against the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, were a disgrace.

    The Giants offense was decimated with injuries, and the 49ers were led by Alex Smith. Neither team should rally against your defense.

    Castillo appeared to turn the corner against the Dallas Cowboys in late October. It had fans thinking this new guy has it figured out.

    The next week Chicago rallied in the fourth quarter.

    Despite all of the embarrassing games, Castillo was given another chance to make things right. And, he didn't have to wait long for his shot at redemption.

    The week after coughing up the lead to the Bears, Castillo and the Eagles held a 14-7 lead going into the fourth quarter.

    Arizona scored 14 points and handed the Eagles their worst defeat of the season.

    It wasn't that the Eagles lost to Arizona. It was that they lost to John Skelton.

    If you need a reason for why that loss was terrible just ask yourself, "Who John Skelton is."  Those who know him, understand the point. And those who don't know him: Exactly.

    The Eagles can't possibly risk fourth-quarter turmoil next year.

Hollow Finish

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    How about we give Castillo credit for finishing strong?

    How about no?

    He slowed down Matt Moore and J.P. Losman in Miami, Mark Sanchez and Stephen McGee. Let me know when any of those stiffs do anything worthwhile.

    Right now it doesn't look like the Dolphins, Jets or Cowboys are headed to the playoffs either.

    He basically slowed down three inept quarterbacks, playing for teams that won't play in the postseason.

    Watch Castillo's stock get inflated against Rex Grossman and the Redskins this weekend. Fortunately, we all know Castillo will have little to do with Grossman stinking up the joint.

Steve Spagnuolo

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    Is Steve Spagnuolo going to be fired? Is he coming to Philadelphia? Is there bad blood between him and Andy Reid?

    CSNPhilly.com ran a story about Spagnuolo and Reid not having a good relationship, but things are actually fine.

    Phew.

    If things are good between the two and Spanuolo is fired, it gives Reid more reason to part ways with Castillo.

    Poor Juan.

    The guy got moved last year because Howard Mudd was available as an offensive line coach and now he might lose his job because Spagnuolo might be on the open market this year.

    If this is Castillo's replacement, no one will feel sorry for Castillo. The fans in Philadelphia get excited thinking about Spags and will instantly believe his defense will lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl.

Someone Has to Take the Blame

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    Andy Reid can do no wrong in the eyes of owner Jeffrey Lurie.

    So why did the Eagles fail to make the playoffs and finish without a winning record?

    Ummm, it was Juan's fault.

    The new guy on defense was confused, overmatched and way in over his head throughout the season until a bunch of coaches intervened.

    Sounds believable enough, right? Might as well roll with it, toss Castillo under the bus and run him over a couple dozen times.

    Accountability and the Eagles are about as synonyms with Dallas Cowboys fans and integrity.

    Someone else is always to blame. In this case, it's Castillo.