(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Castillo's long-term, big dollar contract extension in the summer of 2008 raised some eyebrows just because it came before the likes of say, Shawne Merriman, LaDainian Tomlinson or Philip Rivers.
Even more troubling was Castillo's lack of production that following fall. Playing in 15 games (an encouraging stat for someone with Castillo's injury track record), the Brooklyn native managed only 39 tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception.
However, Castillo (like the rest of the defense) was hampered by the loss of Shawne Merriman, which meant more attention on him from opposing linemen. He returns in 2009 as the starting left end.
Pros: Explosive jump off snap, dedicated pass rusher as well as run stopper, big enough to handle double teaming, fast enough to get around backfield protection, has excellent awareness as to where ball is on field.
Cons: Can he stay healthy? Has only one season in which he's played in all 16 games, has yet to prove seven-sack 2006 season (in just 10 games) was not a fluke, proved to be next to ordinary without Merriman in lineup, needs to prove $41 million contract extension was good investment.
2009 Season Outlook: Chargers coaches are banking that Castillo's production will go up now that the team has a formidable pass rushing trio in Merriman, Phillips and Larry English. If he stays healthy, he'll most likely replicate the 2006 form that led to him being named a Pro Bowl alternate.