|Castillo lasted 22 games as the Eagles' defensive coordinator. (US Presswire)|
Eagles coach Andy Reid raised eyebrows before the 2011 season when he named long-time offensive assistant Juan Castillo the defensive coordinator. The Wide-9 rushing philosophy and the way that Castillo chose to use cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha led to the inevitable second-guessing as the Eagles struggled to an 8-8 record.
And now, sitting at 3-3 in 2012 and on their bye week, the team announced Castillo has been fired following the latest loss, a fourth-quarter defensive collapse against the Lions. Defensive backs coach Todd Bowles will replace Castillo as defensive coordinator.
“I want to make it clear that I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Juan Castillo as a coach and as a person," Reid said Tuesday in a statement released by the team. "He's one of the finest football coaches that I have ever worked with. He has served this organization extremely well for 18 years, and letting him go was a difficult decision. I know he will continue to be a successful coach in this league and wish he and his family nothing but the best.
“We're six games into the season, and average isn't good enough. I know the potential of our team and insist on maximizing it.”
Asomugha, who hasn't lived up to the shutdown-corner skills that he displayed in Oakland, questioned the Eagles' defensive strategy following Sunday's overtime loss. Here's an exchange with reporters following the game (via the Philadelphia Daily News' Rich Hofmann) :
Question: As a player, when things go so well for three quarters, is there a sense of wanting to make the other team prove that they can beat what you're doing before you start trying to change things up?
Asomugha: Um ... yeah.
Question: As a veteran guy on this team whose opinion is respected, is that a spot where you go to your coaches and say, "Hey, this is working. Let's try to use more of what's working."
Asomugha: Um ... yes.
Bowles, meanwhile, came to Philly from the Dolphins, where he served as secondary coach before taking over as the interim head coach midway through the 2011 season after Tony Sparano was fired.