It was abundantly clear early in the season that the Philadelphia Eagles were a talented group—but dysfunctional enough that someone had to be removed from the equation for Philly to be successful.
The wrong man, Juan Castillo, was relieved of his duties during Philadelphia’s bye week. With a ton of big-name pieces, the Eagles' defense was seen as an underachieving unit despite year-to-year improvement and that was frequently making up for an offense that turned the ball over on a regular basis.
Furthermore, the offensive line seemed to escort defenders to the quarterback more often than actually blocking them.
If that’s not enough evidence that Castillo is a positive difference-maker as a coach—who should catch on with another team’s staff next season—consider this: In Castillo’s six games as defensive coordinator, the Eagles gave up 1,412 passing yards (235.3 per game) and seven passing touchdowns while picking off seven passes.
They allowed 509 rushing yards (84.8 per game) and one rushing score to running backs on 137 carries (3.7 yards per carry) en route to a 3-3 record.
In Castillo’s absence (five games), Philadelphia has allowed 75.2 percent of their opponents’ passes to be completed, surrendering 1,216 yards (243.2 per game) and 13 touchdowns with zero interceptions. Opposing running backs have also racked up over 100 rushing yards—although totaling one touchdown on the ground—against the Eagles as a position group in three of those contests.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have gone 0-5 as part of an active seven-game losing streak.
The quarterbacks that Philadelphia has faced in its last five are all star players: Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton. It makes sense that a defensive unit may struggle against that group of passers in succession—but it’s assumed that the struggles will happen when a team drops its defensive coordinator at the beginning of that streak.
There are problems all around this team. The offense has had some problems moving the ball as well as preserving possession of it—but offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg maintained his position when Castillo was unceremoniously fired.
One man made that decision. His name is Andy Reid.
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