Friday, October 19, 2012
Juan Castillo Fired
Eagles DC Juan Castillo was let go this week, in a surprising move – almost as surprising as hiring him in the first place.
Castillo, who was an Eagles staffer alongside Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and coordinator Sean McDermott, coached nothing but offense in the pros until being elevated to replace McDermott as DC in 2011. It was an odd pairing – an OL coach as DC – that was explained by his conversations with the defensive coaches over the years – no doubt, both with patriarch Jim Johnson, and guys like Rivera/McDermott and Steve Spagnuolo.
It also didn’t work, and while the massively talented Eagles’ D did put together a lot of big plays, it also gave them up. I don’t think it was a matter of competence, but simply experience. You don’t become head of an NFL defense without experience with an NFL defense.
So to tie things back to Carolina, we know that Andy Reid and Rivera had discussions about Carolina taking on McDermott – a soft landing, so to speak. We know that Rivera is outspoken, and has ties to Castillo.
That leaves a couple of things there –
*one, I wonder if Castillo would be interested in helping out here through the rest of the season, a major ‘get’ for the Carolina staff despite its full complement of offensive coaches.
*two, I wonder if recommendations from former Eagles staffers helped get Castillo his job. Consider that Reid pays little attention to defense – and his stability over time came from having Johnson running the defense. He relies on opinions to make choices for defense. I’m willing to bet that Castillo’s hire came from recommendations – and I doubt any came from a louder voice than Rivera’s, having known Reid since ’99 and advocating for his compatriot.
Also, feels like Dick Jauron was on staff for just such a purpose – to take on the defense if the Eagles wanted McDermott to move on – and it didn’t end up working out that way. So, Reid shames yet another defensive coach, this time mid-season, to save himself, and fair enough. But make a good hire this time.
It also kinda opens the ideal of firing coaches for the year – and way early this year, too. I’m never a proponent of mid-season fires, but it’s week seven. There are ten to go even for bad teams.