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Andy Reid says Juan Castillo would do 'great job' as head coach at UTEP

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Castillo lasted 22 games as the Eagles' defensive coordinator. (US Presswire)

Considering the way Eagles coach Andy Reid seemingly scapegoated former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo when he fired him last month -- something someone in the organization later said was a miscalculation -- it would be a surprise to hear Reid tout Castillo for a head coaching job.

But that's exactly what he did this week when discussing the opening at UTEP.

“He would do a great job. He would be the mayor of El Paso,” Reid said, via phillymag.com. “He would do a phenomenal job. I was hoping for him because I think he'd be a good head coach. He had a chance at that the last time. He and I actually went down and worked out a couple players there once, so he knows the area. He'd be great.”

That's high praise coming from a man who thought so much of Castillo's skills he surprisingly moved him from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator before the 2011 season. Naturally, the move failed (Castillo wasn't helped by Nnamdi Asomugha's diminished play, the dropoff in sacks this season by Jason Babin and Trent Cole, and the struggle of the team at linebacker).

But now that Mike Price has announced his retirement, Castillo is, once again, interested in the job -- Castillo, a Texas native who also coached at Texas A&M-Kingsville, was apparently also a candidate in 2003.

Even better for Castillo's reputation (and even more stomach-churning for Philadelphia): the Eagles' defense has been even worse under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

“A unit that was tops in the NFL in opponent completion percentage [53 percent] under Castillo has seen quarterbacks' efficiency shoot up to 78 percent in four games under Bowles,” Tim McManus writes. “They have yielded 11 touchdowns and have not intercepted a pass in that time.”

The way things are going now for the Eagles, a wholesale change could (and probably should) be in the works. And maybe, one day soon, Reid will be the one traveling to El Paso and asking Castillo for a job.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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