Philadelphia Eagles: Juan Castillo's Fate Doesn't Matter, Jim Washburn Must Go

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Jim Washburn of the Tennessee Titans poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 at Baptist Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

It is still unknown at this time whether Juan Castillo will be back at defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles and truth be told, it really does not matter.

Castillo's defense improved in the last four games, but his critics will fairly point out it was against four subpar teams and subpar quarterbacks.

However, regardless of the decision on Castillo, he was doomed from the start. 

First, the lockout prevented the regular offseason routine from happening, which hurt his chances.  That would have hurt the chances of any first-year coordinator.

Then, we found out last week that owner Jeff Lurie said Castillo was not the team's first choice to be coordinator, which was not exactly a vote of confidence from the start.

Finally, the Eagles brought in defensive line coach Jim Washburn and his wide nine concept, without any idea how to implement it or what was needed to run it successfully. 

With Washburn in town, Castillo was forced to have his defensive line play a certain way, which drastically hurt his chances. 

If Washburn is back, that will not change, no matter who the coordinator is.

So no matter what happens, Jim Washburn should be fired. 

The Eagles do not need to run the wide nine, which leaves gaping holes in the run defense.  They also do not need a defensive line strategy that is already predetermined.

So that brings us back to square one and the question of whether Juan Castillo will be back as defensive coordinator. 

My thought is probably not. 

If he was going to be back, I believe Andy Reid already would have announced as much.  However, he does have a chance, which is the same chance that led to him being hired last year. 

In order to remove Castilo, the Eagles need to find a suitable replacement.  If that does not happen, Castillo will be back as defensive coordinator.  If he is back, there will be public outrage.

However, the truth is it does not matter. 

In order to fix the defense, Washburn has to go.  If Washburn goes, Castillo can run the defense his way and the defense will improve. 

If they bring in a guy like Steve Spagnuolo, and keep Washburn, he will have the same problem as Castillo.  The wide nine is great against the pass, but terrible against the run. 

In order for the Eagles defense to take a step forward in 2012, the wide nine has to go, and so does Jim Washburn. 

The result will be less production and sacks from Jason Babin, but a better overall defense. 

The other thought is the wide nine could be used on a limited basis, in obvious pass situations.  However, it can not be your base defense, which is what the Eagles tried to do in 2011.

No matter who the coordinator is, they need to have full control of the defensive strategy, and that means Jim Washburn has to be out the door.