Castillo Fired

Posted: October 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 132 Comments »

Wow.

Andy’s job is on the line this year so that meant that we could see some unusual stuff, but I didn’t expect Juan to get fired at midseason with the defense performing pretty well.

My guess is that Andy took a look at the situation and saw that there were flaws in all 3 phases of the game.  Andy has confidence that he and Marty can get the offense sorted out.  He has confidence that Bobby April can fix the STs.  Clearly, Reid did not believe Castillo could fix the defense.

It wasn’t as if the defense was falling apart.  They are 12th in yards allowed and 13th in points allowed.  Still, the unit was under-performing.  No sacks in 3 games.  Turnovers were coming in at a snail’s pace.  There were mistakes in gap responsibilities on run defense.  There were some blown coverages.  These are fixable issues…but they do need the right person to fix them.

Firing Juan isn’t easy for Big Red.  They’re good friends.  This kind of action is also a sign to the rest of the team.  No one is safe.  Do your job or you will be replaced.  Longevity won’t protect you.  Friendship won’t protect you.  Sell the Rio Rancho properties or hit the bricks, pal.

Timing also had a lot to do with this.  The bye week allows for change.  Todd Bowles will take over as DC and has a chance to make whatever adjustments he wants.  He has a few extra days to get used to the job.  Timing also involves the Eagles blowing leads in consecutive games.  The team was 2 for 2 on holding leads early, but blowing 2 in a row in key games was pretty serious stuff.

I’ll have more on this later.

_


  • Jonzee72

    Andy Reid logic: Doesn’t accept average, accepts the 2nd worst in the league.

    • TommyLawlor

      If Andy didn’t think he and Marty could fix the offense, there would be a change there. I know others don’t have that confidence, but Andy does.

      • Jonzee72

        I kind of lost faith in Reid’s judgement when he hired Castillo.

        • BobSmith77

          It wasn’t his choice. Even his 2nd/3rd choice I bet. Couple of people said ‘no thanks’ for various reasons and Reid was left scrambling so they promoted Castillo. It might have been spun as something else but the reasoning was as thing as Soviet gulag gruel.

          • iskar36

            Completely disagree. If they wanted one of those other candidates seriously enough, they would have made a bigger offer and could have signed them. Those guys were not coming in for interviews for the sake of practicing their interviewing skills. They were initially interested in the job, and the Eagles didn’t make a strong enough commitment to them.

          • BobSmith77

            They could have offered more cash to other options but if Castillo had been there guy all along as they declared why did they wait until the first week of Feb to name him officially? Not how companies/organizations function.

          • Eric Weaver

            Reid hamstrung this team by hiring Washburn first then all the better DC candidates said no thanks to the wide 9.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=848935182 Ryan Jacob

      Andy and Marty are dealing with the loss of an All Pro and near Pro Bowler on the line while the defense is completely healthy for the most part.

      • Jonzee72

        So? We still beat the Giants and Baltimore, two pretty good teams without both of them, thanks to sensible playcalling/QB play.

  • http://twitter.com/ToastJenkins ToastJenkins

    hate to say I told you so, Tommy….but I did :P

    • TommyLawlor

      True…but I don’t think this was a “someone’s gotta pay” move so much as what I wrote above…who is going to fix the problems. Semantics, but important.

      • http://twitter.com/ToastJenkins ToastJenkins

        oh i agree, but it leads me to believe Bowles was the source of the defensive improvement this year and not Juan. only time will tell based on trajectory over the remainder of the season. Now if they would only fire Vick…

      • iskar36

        This move comes off as a very desperate move to me. I have to disagree that this move isn’t partially motivated by “someone’s gotta pay.” AR may feel MM and him can improve the offense, but if you were going to fire Castillo, the time to do that was at the end of last season (or maybe even middle of last season). I never believed in Castillo, but if after last season you claim to believe in him, I don’t see what he has done this year that warrants being fired right now.

      • A_T_G

        Could this be something to assuage Laurie? I am wondering if, behind closed doors, Laurie wasn’t behind giving Juan he job but Reid pushed. If Reid was standing behind Juan, Laurie’s comments about Reid being on the hot seat have a slightly different context. More of a “if you are going to vouch for this guy, then his failures are your failures” kind of thing. Perhaps Reid decided he couldn’t shield him any longer

  • NoDecaf

    Off Topic: Tommy wouldn’t it make sense to bring in/trade for O lineman now (if any out there) so they have the bare minimal time for preparation?

  • holeplug

    desperate men do desperate things

  • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

    I never liked this move. Castillo was put in a bad situation and was in way over his head. I think we all saw this coming, but the timing of it makes me feel like they’re scapegoating him. Clearly they’re underperforming but I feel like he looked at the wrong side of the ball.

    Of course Big Red might be trying to fix that by taking over play calling duties…

    • D3Keith

      Yup, you can definitely put me in this camp as well. I’m not saying it’s not the right move going forward or that it’s acceptable to let leads slip 2 weeks in a row, but I am saying this 3-3 start was mostly on the offense, and that was the unit most in need of a change.

      Juan can probably get work as a college DC or HC.

  • Howard Humetewa

    Wow. Didn’t think the defense was the biggest of our concerns. Hopefully the teams responds…

  • Dave_King

    Wow. Very sudden, very shocking. I do feel upset for Juan, he was a good guy who really believed and lived everything that he preached. Hopefully he can land in a situation where he can learn more, and then become successful.

    The way I see it is that Reid thinks that by firing one of the three he can also demand more accountability from the other two phases. And like you said, he’s got more trust in Marty in April. And in addition, he thinks the dropoff from Castillo to Bowles is less than it’d be if they fired Marty or April.

    • http://twitter.com/ToastJenkins ToastJenkins

      i tend to agree – who becomes OC if you fire Marty? Bowles presence makes this change a much less disruptive one

    • GermanEagle

      I thought the point of firing someone is that you won’t have a dropoff, full stop?!

    • A_T_G

      “And like you said, he’s got more trust in Marty in April.”

      We all have more trust in Marty in April. It isn’t until they start playing games and we realize he is still swinging for the fences that we remember.

      • Dave_King

        Haha, meant to be Marty and April. My bad there. I need to put my words in a better position to succeed.

  • Pitmanite

    It’s funny because the defense didn’t play poorly in my opinion, but at the same time, I didn’t really have confidence in Juan. That being said to say they “blew” the lead seems harsh, even though they technically did. I mean giving up 13 points until that last drive on the road in Pittsburgh isn’t too shabby. I’m still just frustrated with our $100 million QB committing all of these turnovers. There’s two things that happened in both of these losses and they are that our $100 million man committed multiple turnovers and played like crap. I’m far more frustrated with the offense right now. Like you said though, not really a move to make there. The easy move for AR to make was with Juan.

  • GermanEagle

    I am really glad and relieved that the Castillo project is finally over.
    At the beginning of this year I was telling to myself: if our Defense is not Top 5 with this sort of talent, then Castillo is gone. And I was right.
    I also disagree that the Defense was “doing pretty well”. 3 consecutive games without a sack is unheard of, and the blown 4th quarter leads were the icing on the cake.
    The lack of respect by Eagles players (see Nnamdi) for Castillo might have also played a role in his firing. When players publicly criticize the playcalling then you know that something must be wrong.
    Looking forward to Bowles as our new DC!

    • Mark823

      They were 31st in points allowed right? Oh wait that was the offense that was 31st in points scored, my bad. Castillo was the scapegoat, why Reid pointed the finger at the stronger unit is beyond me.

      • Septhinox

        Not a scapegoat. One of more moves coming. Sit and watch.

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    At the moment, Juan is the last coordinator I wanted to see go. I never thought I’d say that. Blah.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    At this point, I don’t see Reid winning more than a set of steak knives this year.

    The offensive line is bad. No other word for it. Bad as a group. And bad in several places . . . like LT, C, and RG.

    Unless the O-line improves dramatically, I think those steak knives will be Reid’s parting gift from the Eagles.

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    Hopefully Bowles does a good job so we don’t get Mudd as our DC.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Buchanan/1557343118 Scott Buchanan

      LOL…

  • new coach

    Another example of Reid finding the wrong solution to the wrong problem. The problem is the offense, turnovers, and play-calling. Sure the defense hasnt been great… but they are often put in a position to fail by Vick. Castillo has been given bad players (better this year I realize) and is forced to play with a wide-9 which he may not even like…

    meanwhile, the offense goes ahead with the same old tired routine.

    maybe Castillo should have been give line backers last year. maybe Reid shouldnt have drafted Jarrett. Maybe they shouldnt have overpayed for Nmandi.

    Reid is the source of the problems and sadly Castillo has been canned for Andy’s deficiencies.

    • new coach

      Reid is a joke amongst the national media. Chris Carter and Mike Golic were ripping him on Mike and Mike this AM for what he is criticized for. Bill Simmons routinely references Reid’s shortcomings. I feel bad for the guy given the loss of his son. When people bash Reid, it is for playcalling, bad clock management, bad timeouts, etc.

      Castillo was not whey we were 3-3.

    • D3FB

      AMEN

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    I’d say that they were pretty darn close to blowing the lead in the Ravens & Giants games, if not for offensive pass interference calls. I thought the Ravens one was very questionable, as ministered by the backup refs. Obviously the Giants one was blatant, however it set the Giants up for a makeable field goal to win.

    Andy has done the right thing. HOWEVER, it should still be acknowledged that it is Reid who made the counter intuitive choice to promote Castillo in the first place, and it is Reid who aggrandized the wins at the end of last season as being indicative of Castillo’s potential in his decision to have him return. If Reid brought in Todd Bowles as the break-glass-in-case-of-emergency DC, why not just hire him outright and let him start the season as a DC? More poor evaluation by Reid. Though I’m sure he’d accept the responsibility for the poor judgement, I wonder when Reid will actually feel the repercussions of all these missteps?

    • TommyLawlor

      Reid is under a win or else edict this year. Isn’t that pressure enough for you?

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Even if Reid is fired, there will be elements of the fanbase that says he could have done it, if given one more year, that we shouldn’t change head coaches, pointing to his resume and claiming that Reid will have success elsewhere, etc. I’m highlighting the trend of poor decisions as validation for Reid’s position on the hot seat.

        It was clear that Juan Castillo was in over his head, pretty early on in ’11. It was a mistake to bring him back for ’12. As some people pat Andy on the back for making a “bold move that needed to be made”, I think it’s important to remember this situation was completely brought about by Reid’s poor decision making.

        • A_T_G

          So the only appropriate accountability would be for the entire fanbase to label Reid a loser? I wonder if we could just have the FCC add his name to the list of banned words ( although that might make describing putting a saxophone in your mouth sound dirty).

          We need to make sure fans are held accountable, though. I think if you are caught mentioning the all time winningest coach in the franchise history in a positive light, you should be forced to hand over your Westbrook, Dawk, or Shady jersey in exchange for Steve Smith or Ernie Sims.

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            Strawman argument, I never said he was a “loser”, just that Reid’s missteps should be cataloged and analyzed as part of the bigger picture. It helps us get a little more resolution when someone mentions he’s “the all time winningest coach in franchise history”.

          • A_T_G

            If you are looking for a more complete picture, what is the problem with fans pointing to his resume, his assumed success elsewhere, his potential to succeed in the future?

            You are critical for his thinking outside the box in hiring Castillo, but also in his decision to bring aboard a contingency plan in Bowles?

            It doesn’t appear to be a complete picture you are seeking. Perhaps you would prefer to burn that straw man in effigy.

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            Yes, I’m critical of both. You do understand the idea of compounding a mistake, or making a series of poor decisions, right?

            Everyone knows that Reid has won games here, the question is about his overall leadership, outlook for the future, and trend. Sorry to point out information that seems to go with the popular sentiment that Reid has lost his way, but just because it’s the popular, or boring sentiment, doesn’t make it invalid.

            Hey, look at the bright side, if they do decide to fire the winningest (and losingest) head coach in Eagles history, Wayne Fontes is available. He’s the all-time winningest coach in Lions history–AP Coach of the year in 1991, a hot ticket!

          • A_T_G

            I clearly understand, as I am choosing to respond yet again. I think you are being unfair in criticizing both the choice to try skydiving with a beach umbrella AND the choice to weigh oneself down by wearing a more conventional backup chute.

            Odd that you are working from an assumption that I defending Reid. My disagreement wasn’t in your critical views of Reid; he certainly has earned them. My disagreement was with your dismissal of opposing viewpoints while, ironically, framing them as narrow minded.

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            If defending Reid isn’t your intent, then you did a poor job in expressing yourself. I pointed out that this situation was created by Reid, as part of a series of poor decisions, and your first response was a strawman about how I’m suggesting anyone who mentions “the winningest coach in franchise history” in a positive light should be flogged. Never said that; though it is a strange time to sing Hosannas about his ability. What I am saying is that when people use logic like “If Andy thought Marty M. was the reason the offense is sputtering, he’d do something about it” is a line of thinking that supposes that he’s got all the bases covered, when demonstrably, he does not. Maybe he’s right about Marty, but every decision Reid makes should be viewed with a jaundiced eye.

            He failed in his evaluation of Juan multiple times. He failed once when he hired him, and he failed again when he decided to retain him for 2012 based on wins against listless competition at the end of last year. The organization handled the situation clumsily, by expressing public interest in Spagnuolo. If they wanted to add Bowles to the staff, and believed he had the ability to coordinate a defense, that move should have been made last February, to set the team up for success.

  • Noah_Becker

    I heard the straw that broke the camel’s back was the 86% Juan gave Jamar Chaney for run defense, after the Pittsburgh game.

    • TommyLawlor

      Brilliant.

  • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

    Andy fired Rory Segrest after Chris Clemons and Jason Babin had success after leaving Philadelphia. Last week both Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown got a pick 6.

    • BlindChow

      And Joselio Hanson had a pick against the Falcons!

  • bdbd20

    Something had to happen. If it wasn’t Juan, it was probably gonna be Vick. I believe Todd will the next head coach here if he does well. I actually think that was the plan all along, to have him take over if/when Andy leaves.

    • A_T_G

      I thought the same thing. And with the difference in the secondary this year, I’m intrigued.

  • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

    At what point should the Eagles start to tank in order to get Matt Barkley? We could have been in a position to trade up for RG3 had we tanked at 4-8 last year

    • Matthew Butch

      Never ever tank. Never.

      It breeds a culture of losing and that can destroy a team.

    • Eric Weaver

      Reid would rather have Geno Smith anyway.

    • http://twitter.com/MAR1962 Michael Riccardi

      Barkley is no Andrew Luck (and Geno Smith is no RGIII)

  • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

    Who is responsible for the OT debacle on Sunday? The Eagles ran 3 plays and lost a significant amount of yards on 2 plays. he Eagles gave Detroit the ball at the 50 yard line.

  • Mathias ALLAGNAT

    Guys don’t you see it? Andy has a plan, He makes a change of DC in the middle of the season so that things go really crazy and then he brings the new best DC in the world…. Howard Mudd. Classic

  • The_People’s_Champ

    How is Bowles with Xs and Os, has he ever called plays before?

  • BobSmith77

    - Good. This is something that should have happened this offseason.
    They should have just hired Bowles or another coordinator. Everyone
    talks how this defense improved over the 2nd half but they played 4
    meaningless games including 2 where the opposing team (Skins, Boys)
    played all of their backups. In the games that mattered including vs
    Pats and Seahawks, this defense was embarrassed.

    – Reid doesn’t let his coordinators speak directly to the media but
    Castillo struck me as an empty shirt. When a player like Nnamdi starts
    openly questioning the schemes and there were several players who did
    last year, it is time for Castillo to go.

    – This entire episode reflects incredibly poorly on Reid. Hated the
    Castillo hiring in the first place because it smacked of so much
    desperation. Reid tried to spin it like it wasn’t but it was. Same
    thing this offseason.

    – My bet is that Castillo is a lousy coordinator and coach. If he
    doesn’t get an NFL gig next year, other teams will think the same thing.

    • ChaosOnion

      “Reid doesn’t let his coordinators speak directly to the media…”

      This is incorrect. The Eagles coordinators have their press conferences.

  • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

    3rd-12
    3rd-2

    It’s funny how two plays can make a man lose his job.

  • Steven Steiner

    Nice Glen Gary Glen Ross callback there, Tommy. Always be closing.
    I feel bad for Juan, he seems like a really nice guy and I always liked that story how he drove up to Greenbay to meet Andy – but I also know nice stories don’t win games in the NFL (Although I wish they did). Blowing two 4th quarter leads was the issue here – that’s what Andy couldn’t stomach. I don’t know that this will turn the season around, but they had to change something.
    I think the next move would be to figure out if Steve Vallos is an upgrade over Dallas Reynold and get him in there if he is. He’ll have a lot of catching up to do. Also, maybe there is a backup center that was in Mudd’s scheme on a bench somewhere. Trade Dion Lewis for that guy. The interior of our line is killing us as a team.

  • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

    Trade Andy Reid to the San Diego Chargers for a 1st round pick.

    • eagles2zc

      Their GM is dumb so we can fleece them for at least 2 1st rounders!!

  • Matthew Butch

    Sad to see Juan go, and I think he was the least of the problems. The defense was respectable, but yes average. However 31st in the league in points, and the offense had just as much responsibility in the loss as the defense. Marty needs to go too.

    However, what I think killed Juan was the players didn’t buy into the system. Even if it was a great scheme, if the players didn’t buy it, it was doomed to fail.

    • K_Dilkington

      Hate to see him go, but love to watch him leave!

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.w.cho Michael Winter Cho

        Yeah, he must work out.

  • ian_no_2

    Castillo hasn’t done that badly this year or down the stretch last year, but Bowles is a better DC right now who wins more confidence from he players and has better capacity to communicate with them. I was waiting for Castillo to show brilliance at creating schemes that justified the move and he showed some of that. People have mentioned his inability to make adjustments, and that’s what the 4th Quarter against Detroit suggested.

    Let’s not forget that Detroit really won that game because they have a great defensive line and the Iggles have a makeshift OL, and their DL didn’t perform well against the Detroit veterans. They pay their guys more and the Eagles try to cut corners at key positions. Detroit didn’t score 30 points and Castillo doesn’t deserve to be scapegoated.

    The other aspect of this move is that assuming there’s not an Eagles’ housecleaning after this year, it means that for another team to promote Bowles they have to offer him HC. I was worried that a team would offer Bowles big money for him to be a DC and the Eagles would lose him, because he’s more valuable to the team than Castillo. That’s the big picture. The timing is only significant because Andy reached a point where he felt Castillo had enough of a chance and he no longer had the luxury to rationalize and defend his unorthodox position.

    • BlindChow

      “People have mentioned his inability to make adjustments, and that’s what the 4th Quarter against Detroit suggested.”

      Actually, it kinda looked like his adjustments are what killed the Eagles in the 4th quarter…

  • Todd B.

    Surprised and a little saddened, to tell you the truth. I was really rooting for him.

    But it probably the right decision. Nnamdi’s comments. Lack of a pass rush (too much stunting as mentioned in the podcast).

    But most importantly, he didn’t seem to adjust through the game. Even Rothlisberger said it. What he learned in the first quarter he applied in the 4th quarter. That is not good.

    The defense just seemed like it was stale. No wrinkles. Offenses weren’t confused or surprised. Bland.

    • A_T_G

      That is big of you. Good luck in the new gig, Todd B.

      • Todd B.

        Clever. It took me a minute….I was like wtf is this guy babbling about….well done.

        • TommyLawlor

          Took me a minute to get that as well. ATG is a sharp cat.

  • Todd B.

    The difference with Marty is that there are plays to be made. Receivers are open. The offense moves the ball. Vick just misses receivers and commits turnovers.

    I am not defending the guy because I am not happy with a lot of what is happening. It just seems like the players are more to fault in the offensive ineptitude than game planning.

    I really think we see Foles in two weeks. AR can’t just live with 3 TO a game and keep saying, “we will fix that”. If it still happens after six weeks, then it must be fixed in a different way.

    • BlindChow

      I’m pretty sure the Eagles would have to lose another game directly because of turnovers before they benched Vick. Vick can get you up 10 points with 5 minutes left in the game. Foles is a question mark, and playing him would be like throwing in the towel on the season unless Vick has a particularly egregious game (another Arizona, for example)…

  • ACViking

    Re: Juan

    T-Law, your explanation makes as much sense as anything.

    I’d have liked Reid to take a bit more responsibility for Juan’s departure in his statement — and maybe he will at the P.C.
    _______________

    Firing (or demoting) coordinators in the middle of the season is not unheard of, but not especially common.

    Last season, the Colts fired D.C. Larry Coyer in November. Didn’t much matter (read: Andrew Luck).

    On Oct 17, 2006 — at the start of their bye week — Ravens’ HC Brian Billick fired O.C. (and good friend) Jim Fassel. The Ravens were 4-2 at the time. The offense did improve some after the change . . . but were clearly buoyed by the NFL’s topped-rank defense.

    On Oct 25, 2006, Browns head coach Romeo Crennel fired O.C. Maurice Carthon. Didn’t make any difference.

    In early December 1993, Detroit’s HC Wayne Fontes fired O.C. Dan Henning after the Lions posted a total of 23 points in 3 consecutive losses (which dropped them from 7-2 to 7-5). The Lions, with Barry Sanders, finished 10-6, made the playoffs, and were eliminated in the first round. And their scoring average barely changed after Henning’s firing.

    BEST STORY:
    In mid-1984, New England HC Ron Meyers fired D.C. Rod Rust after the Patriots were blown out by the Dolphins. One day later, owner Pat Sullivan fired HC Ron Meyer . . . re-hired Rust and elevated O.C. Raymond Berry to H.C. The next year the Patriots went to the SB (and got killed by the ’85 Bears).

    Following week 2 in 1993, Vikings HC Dennis Green fired OC Jack Burns after the Vikes, though 1-1, scored only 17 points in the first two weeks. The Vikes, a pretty talented team in the ’90s, finished 9-7 and made the playoffs — where they went 1-and-done.
    ________________

    It’ll be interesting to see what Bowles does to the scheme. Reid brought all this on himself when he (i) hired Washburn and his W-9 in January 2011, before (ii) interviewing any D.C. candidates.

  • ACViking

    Re: Why was Juan the D.C. to begin with

    T-Law:

    I think you’ve accepted this theory (but maybe not):

    Reid hired Washburn and his W-9 in January 2011, not long after firing Sean McDermott as the D.C.

    At that point, everyone Reid interviewed was being told the W-9 was going to be central to the Eagles’ defense.

    That fact, more than any other, caused guys like Dennis Allen and Ray Horton to look else where. The only guy left standing was Juan.
    _______________

    In hindsight, who wouldn’t want Ray Horton here as the D.C.

    I know Reid’s not a 3-4 guy. But sometimes change is good.

  • http://twitter.com/RIPworms RIP Worms

    Tommy, I think this goes back to what you preach about coaches’ evaluations of players. Namely that we only see guys perform 3 hours a week, but the coaches watch them 5 or 6 days a week. It makes sense then that major decisions like this would be based just as much or more on what we don’t see than what we do.

    You have to wonder if there were some philosophical differences of opinion between Bowles and Castillo during gameplanning sessions. And that after games Andy was realizing that Bowles had the better strategies. Obviously this is all pure speculation.

    One popular narrative is that Castillo is being scapegoated even though statistically the Defense is by far the best of the three units on the Eagles right now. But that just begs the question: is that BECAUSE of Castillo or IN SPITE of him?

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      I doubt that there are problems with Juan’s ability to prepare during the course of the week. His weaknesses have to do with making calls and adjustments during games, which is something that comes with experience.

  • K_Dilkington

    The Leads are weak!

    Seriously though, bummer for Castillo but he’s been playing with house money since 2011 in just getting the job (what other HC would do something like that? People complain about him being in a bad situation, when in the world would Castillo ever get an opportunity like the one he got here?).

    One thing I hope this change brings is a return to Eagle’s style defense. This iteration of the D (this year) simply did not have the feel of some of the hard-hitting, body bag D’s we’ve had in the late 80’s early 90’s and in the Jim Johnson era. Sure we could drop back 7 in coverage which was novel, but were weren’t sacking or hitting anyone! Identity matters, believe it or not (teams can play to an identity and assimilate talent to take on certain characteristics).

    I hope we see the bump in the defense that you get similar to the mid-season bump soccer teams in the EPL see when they fire their coach mid-year. Players know they need to impress the new coach to keep their place so they play lights out for 3 to 4 games. 3 to 4 lights out games will make our break our season, given this upcoming stretch. Here’s hoping it works.

    • TommyLawlor

      You’re weak!!! Glad people got the reference.

  • Ark87

    If i were to rank our 3 units on performance
    Defense is clearly the best unit. It should be better with the talent that we have, yes.

    Ok- lets break it down.
    First on my list to go is MM, who has clearly done the worst job. Loads of talent everywhere but O-line. O-line’s importance cannot be overstated in making an offense go. But it’s the coordinator’s job to adjust to that sort of thing.

    Bobby April is in a very close 2nd. Maybe he doesn’t have the right guys, who knows. All I know is that he hasn’t been able to raise any phase of the ST game above mediocre since he arrived here.

    3rd is Juan, Who has enjoyed some success this season (unlike the other coordinators). His unit basically won all of our wins. But the unit hasn’t maintained it’s level of play and flat out crumbled on Sunday (along with the rest of the team mind you).

    This is clearly a case of who is behind you. Todd Bowles was an up and coming DC who was the best coordinator on his team, which landed him the interim HC position (you rarely can step bad down to DC on the same team in these situations).

    This is a situation imo where this replacement isn’t saying Juan was the worst coordinator on the team. It is just the most convenient position to improve. OC and STC would have to be replace out of house, which is an off-season move.

    I really hope the Defense didn’t like Juan’s playcalling and wasn’t completely bought in. If they were really behind Juan, and they take this as an indictment on their unit, where the other units are getting out easy. Well lets say it can be locker-room havoc.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      i totally agree with you.
      what i dont understand is why is MM not doing a better job on offense…

      the injuries on the OL were not surprises. we had an entire offseason to work a replacement LT into the mix. we’ve now had more than a few weeks to work a replacement C into the mix. we know these guys aren’t going to be as good as the originals (they are backups for a reason). but it is the job of the coaches to understand the talent that they have available and work around it.our OL can’t pass block for more than a few seconds? run the ball more. call shorter throws. design plays to get the ball out of the QBs hands faster. *work with what you have!*
      you would not want to call plays that require a long drop back. you don’t want plays that require a WR to run a route where he won’t get open before the QB is sacked or running for his life.

      fact is, we should know that other teams are going to be bringing the pressure against the weakest part of our offense and yet we have done nothing to negate it.

      • D3Keith

        Could not agree with this more.

    • BlindChow

      Bobby April has also take successful college returners and turned them into sub-average NFL returners…

  • Julescat

    Castillo gets sacked!!!

    at least the Eagles finally picked up a sack this season.

    • BobSmith77

      You are correct sir! Hi ho!

    • P_P_K

      Yes!

  • dislikedisqus

    Reid won’t fire himself but I can’t fault Castillo any more than Reid. It seems to me that Reid should have gone up to Castillo during Q4 of the DET game and said “You’re going to stick with what’s working, right?” It’s a HC job to know what his DC is going to be doing in the Q4. Not just delegate or assume he’ll get it right but to know.
    Juan should get a college HC job. He would be excellent as a motivator.

  • Jay

    Thoughts on the Bowles move.

    Could we now see the best of Nnamdi Asomugha?

    Could we now see the defense become elite? Maybe Todd Bowles
    can maximize the potential and talent of the defense. Put the players in a
    position to be successful…Todd Bowles will be a lot better at this than Juan
    Castillo.

    Juan Castillo had a very plain/simple defensive scheme. With
    JC at the helm, we would literally NEVER confuse the opposing offenses at
    pre-snap. I’m hoping that Todd Bowles will do some pre-snap disguises, have
    some guys dancing at the line, and add a good blitzing element to the defense.

    I’m hoping that the DL will finally wake up, now that Juan
    is gone. I don’t think they’re underperforming because they didn’t “buy in” to
    Juan’s scheme (it’s speculated that some of the defensive players didn’t trust
    Juan and haven bought into him), but you do have to wonder if they will start
    playing “harder” now that they know that the current DC isn’t a dummy.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      if kendricks is as fast as everyone says he is, it would be nice to use him creatively in some blitz packages.

  • GermanEagle

    It’s funny how a move like this is getting me fired up for the next game. Bring on the falcons! Cannot wait to see Bowles calling the plays.

  • nopain23

    Big Red now only has to fire MM and take over the offense. Sorry to see Juan go though. Hope this lights a fire under the team. Everyone should be on notice. No one is safe, players/coaches.
    On a side note Tommy still awaiting that column on potential HC candidates for next year.

  • Mark823

    Castillo was the scapegoat for sure, the defense has been the stronger unit and Castillo didn’t deserve to be fired. You can tell Reid is feeling the pressure, but I really think he made the wrong move.

  • Mark823

    Bad move, clearly the scapegoat. Out of pressure Reid fired someone that deserved to keep their job. Vick is lucky that Foles is the backup, otherwise I think he’d be benched.

  • Mark823

    ESPN did a side by side comparision of the Eagles offense and defense, unsuprisingly the defense was better in every category:

    Eagles’ ranks this season
    Category Offense Defense
    PPG 31st 13th
    Yds/play 21st 10th
    3rd down pct. 10th 4th
    Red zone TD pct. 25th 4th
    — ESPN Stats & Information

  • TheRogerPodacter

    hey tommy,
    just read an interesting note in one of Domo’s articles that i think can help explain part of the team’s struggles.
    our average starting field position is the 24 yard line. (WOW!) this is a combined factor of poor ST performances and a lack of turnovers from the defense. (and perhaps turnovers that the D gets in the redzone).
    That means that our offense has to march the entire length of the field to get points. heck, just look at what the Lions had to do in OT. they got the ball at the 50, only had to go like 20 yards to get in FG range.

    at this point, if i am a defensive coordinator, i am going to make vick work for every single yard possible – knowing full well that he is so turnover prone. the more he is on the field, the more likely a turnover will come. but thats for another day.

    my point is that i don’t think Domo is factoring the poor play of the offense in the field position battle. again, go back to the OT loss. 3 and out, something like -15 yards. even with the best ST in the business, we have already lost the field position battle. combine a sputtering offense with poor punt teams and you are going to give away good field position. Now, if we assume the defense plays great, the other team is going to pin us deep and the cycle repeats. once the other teams figure out what we are doing defensively, its game over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kanin-Faan/100000790557328 Kanin Faan
  • BobSmith77

    Speaking of Glengary Glen Ross, Juan forgot his ABCs – A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.

    Offense scored late in the Pittsburgh game only to have the Steelers drive the length of the field to run the clock out & win the game with a chip shot. Lions game was even worse after the Eagles were up 24-14.

    You can argue that Castillo got placed in a raw deal last year and that bringing in Washburn tied his hands. Saw a guy who was in over his head, shouldn’t have gotten the job in the 1st place, and shouldn’t have been brought back this offseason.

    It doesn’t address the Vick/turnover issues though which is by far the biggest issue. I don’t see how that changes much even if Reid takes over the play-calling as I expect he will announce shortly this week.

    • BlindChow

      Vick’s turnovers didn’t lose this game. Both were thrown deep in Lions territory and resulted in punts by Detroit. They were practically punts themselves.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        deep in lions territory sounds like we missed out on sure points, though. when losing by 2 points, turning ONE of those turnovers into a single FG could have made a huge difference.

        • BlindChow

          The interceptions were thrown from our territory. They just ended up deep in Lions territory. Detroit’s 14, and 35, respectively.

          The Eagles were punting plenty, so it’s not like they were guaranteed points like Vick’s red zone turnovers…

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    If Foles starts next game, do you think Reid received an implicit guarantee of his job for next year?

  • JoeC2K

    I think that AR will step down as HC after this year. Remember what happened to his son? Plus he’s been HC for 13 years or so. He’s burned out and I don’t see him returning next year.

  • Cal Setar

    “We’re six games into the season and average isn’t good enough,” said Reid. “I know the potential of our team and insist on maximizing it.”

    I think a lot of this decision has to do with how Reid perceives the ceiling’s of the offensive and defensive group’s. He probably looks at the offense and thinks that, but for the turnovers and some very ill advised and ill timed play calling, it could be one of the best units in the league. Whereas with Castillo at the helm of the defense, it was never going to be anything better than mediocre. While Bowles is respected, he is an unknown as a defensive coordinator. But at least with him there’s a chance to reach the upper echelon of defenses.

  • SteveH

    Wooooow. Honestly I feel like if he’s going to sack Juan over the defense he should sack Marty over the offense too. The playcalling has been awful and we’re one of the lowest scoring offenses in the league. This feels dangerously close to scapegoating.

  • mcud

    Good move. Coordinators need to be weapons just like players do. With all the turmoil on the OL, coupled with Vick’s troubles, we need a guy at D-Coordinator who can win a game (or games) by being creative, by being a weapon. Clearly, Castillo was never going to outscheme anybody. This year, we need just that. Don’t get me wrong, there should be accountability on offense as well, but Marty has proven that he can implement a potent offense. Castillo is a JAG, at best. Bowles could be in over his head as well, when its all said and done, but this is Andy’s last shot. Something had to be done.

    I’m glad the bye was early.

    • ACViking

      That’s a sensible analysis.

      But it would make more sense in the ’60s-’80s, when running the ball 50-plus percent of the time to grind-down the clock and relying on a tough defense could produce winning teams. The 1978 Eagles are a great example. The 1990 Giants in the SB win over the Bills (using power football and DC Bill Belichick’s scheme to stop the Bills’ high-octane offense) is also a good example.

      But now the NFL’s turned the game into flag football . . . sort of.

      Unless you have the 2000 Ravens defense, the 2012 Eagles seem to be proving that a team better have a good O-line if they want to win.

      That said, Reid’s track record is very good post-bye. It’s just hard to see this team, with the O-line as CURRENTLY constituted, winning in today’s NFL.

      • mcud

        The problem is, there are no replacements available on the O-Line. Not sure how you upgrade there at this point; Mudd is supposed to be one of, if not the, best OL coaches on the planet. Let him make lemonade, you know? Whether he can or not is a different question, but there really is no alternative, short of sending draft picks away to pick up some OL in a trade. And really, how confident can you be in a guy a team is willing to trade at this point in the season? No, the only change that one can reasonably expect a difference at this point is Castillo. I’d be lying if I said I wasnt curious to see what Foles could do, but I have been beating that drum for awhile, as I think Andy/MM’s playcalling is a direct result of their overconfidence in VIck (give him a mere mortal back there and we’d see a much purer West Coast offense). And speaking of the 1990 Giants, do you think Jumbo Elliot and Bart Oates would take our call right now for a LT and C??? ;)

  • eagles2zc

    Not sure if this is the right firing, but I’m happy that Reid is willing to shake things up. Some big changes needed to be made to right the ship again

  • Zachary Kaplan

    I’m a bit shocked, I think it’s the right move – just utterly shocked they’d make it.

    That said I find it funny that the defensive coodinator has to pay for not getting pressure, and forcing Turnovers, when they are solid in yardage and points (despite the 4th quarter let downs I love to point out)….but..

    The Offensive Coodinator is sitting pretty (at least at the moment) despite the 2nd to worst scoring offense in the leauge and I believe the 2nd most turnovers in the league. I probably would have fired Marty first, then Juan….both deserve the axe.

    • bentheimmigrant

      I’m really just hoping that this is the order that Reid looked at things. If he’s already decided that MM is staying, we could be in for a long year, no matter who is running the D.

    • A_T_G

      Wait, what?! I don’t think I can I take anything you say henceforth seriously. You are saying that someone has turned the ball over more than us? Impossible.

      (checks Google…)

      Well, maybe. But only if you count the Chiefs as a pro team…

  • Donald Kalinowski

    The Eagles offense has been ranked top 10 in pts/g in 5 of the past 6 seasons that Mornhinweg has been the OC.The only times their offense hasn’t been ranked at least #6 was when their QB missed significant time with injury (07′, 11′)

    I think Mornhinweg has earned some leeway to get his shit together for this season.

    • ACViking

      MM never had to deal with the O-line problems they have this year.

      Adjustments have been in order since opening day . . . it would seem.

    • bentheimmigrant

      MM is great at designing big, effective plays. That’s why he used to dominate in the first 3 quarters. But we’re seeing more and more that his situational decisions aren’t great. He goes straight to the deep ball when threatened. There’s a reason that despite high scoring offences, we’ve been begging MM to run the ball for years. But if we’re going to decide Castillo wasn’t good enough based mainly on a couple late drives, it’s only fair that we do the same with Marty – and this isn’t the first year he’s come up wanting in that area.

  • Mac

    Dear Andy,

    I hope your self scouting report makes note of the fact that when your team runs a balanced approach run/pass ratio on offense you are more likely to win. You may also want to note that this year’s o-line can’t keep a pocket clean more than 3 seconds, and they are slightly better in attack mode running the ball.

    While you’re at it… please tell Bobby April that we’re tired of seeing kick offs returned for 40+ and to just have Alex Henery kick touch-backs the rest of the year.

    I don’t buy the hype that Juan Castillo wasn’t good enough at DC. You gave him a defense that was built to attack teams that have to pass the ball to keep up with your offense. I do respect your decision to fire Juan because it’s clear how much you respect him as a person and a coach, and that means you believe Todd Bowles is a genuine upgrade. I hope you’re right.

    Time’s yours,

    Mac

  • Mac

    Oh and Tommy… listening to the podcast now. I just ordered my first smart phone last week, due to arrive in the mail today. Having built a few computers for myself through the years and even being “tech nerdy” in that way… I just couldn’t see the point of having a computer in my pocket at all times. Here we go! Haha… however I opted to go with an inexpensive android phone from a company called “Blu” we’ll see how that works out for me.

    • TommyLawlor

      So I’m not alone in waiting. Good to know.

      • Steag209

        Ditto Mac, except all I have is an iTouch, still no smartphone

  • ACViking

    Re: Reid’s Presser: JC May be One of Several Problems

    It seemed to me that in Reid’s presser, he said that Juan was only one of several problems.

    Others? As a fan, it looks like the O-line.

    Yes, Reynolds and Bell aren’t problems. But how much could we fairly expect from a 3-year practice squad player? Or an OT with a reputation for being inconsistent, injury prone, and schooled in a different systems than Mudd’s.

    Look back at the 2011 draft. Reid and Roseman drafted for *need* — historically a bad idea.

    [Aside: If the Eagles (and several other teams) had a do-over, I say the Eagles should’ve taken QB Andy Dalton or OLB/DE Brooks Reed.]

    But the Eagles didn’t trade up or trade down. It seems like they’d targeted Baylor OLT Danny Watkins. The last Baylor OLT to go in Rd 1 was LT Jason Smith to the Rams. (We all saw last year, watching RG-III, that Baylor’s offense is not a pro-style system. And their linemen don’t spend a lot of time in a 3-pt stance.) Smith went No. 2 overall and, it’s fair to say, was a bust even worse than OT Tony Mandarich.

    Right now, unless Watkins picks up his game and starts to play up to his draft position, Baylor O-linemen will get the same kind of reputation as UNC players: Look good in college, bad in the pros.

    In any event, the O-line needs HELP right now. Which leads me to my question.
    __________________

    I put it to you, T-Law . . . how much of Mudd’s reputation, polished to a high gleam during his tenure with the Colts and Peyton Manning, is the product of Peyton Manning’s (i) ability to change plays at the line based on what he saw from the defense, and (ii) process what he saw on pass plays and get the ball out very quickly.

    I know you’ve said that Mudd’s reputation was established while coaching in Seattle while Manning was just out of diapers.

    But Mudd’s been fortunate to coach the likes of LT Cody Risen and OG Paul Fike in Cleveland; LT John Alt and C Tim Grunhard in KC; and soon-to-be HOF LT Walter Jones, perennial all pro C Kevin Mawae and pro bowler RT Howard Ballard in Seattle.

    Then he went to the Colts and had Peyton Manning. When he came here last year, he had Jason Peters and (depending on whom you ask) C Jason Kelce. And, likewise, Evan Mathis — depending on the commenter — is fast becoming a product of having played next to Jason Peters. Herremanns also is not playing up to last season’s standard (maybe because Bell and Dunlap need all the help.)

    With Reid’s “everybody’s being evaluated” mantra, where does Mudd fit?

    And — more importantly — what can be done to improve the O-line.

    • austinfan

      Yeah, but did they make him or he make them:

      LT Cody Risen, th rd pick, 10 year starter, but only made the pro bowl in 1986-87 with Mudd as his line coach
      OG Paul Fike, 10th rd pick, cut by Jets, turned into a starter by Mudd
      LT John Alt, 1st rd pick 1984, Mudd arrived in 1989-92, Alt made the pro bowl in 1992-93.
      C Tim
      Grunhard in KC, drafted in the 2nd rd by Mudd
      LT Walter Jones, drafted #7 by Mudd
      C
      Kevin Mawae, drafted in the 2nd rd by Mudd
      Howard Ballard, add by Mudd at age 31, started five more years
      Jeff Blackshear, 8th rd pick Seattle by Mudd, started 6 years
      If you look at the OLs Mudd coached before Indy, other than Seattle, he was rarely given top draft picks to work with, mostly retreads and late round picks. His reputation was earned.

      Look at the current Eagles:
      Bell (7th rd, FA), Mathis (3rd, SFA), Reynolds (UDFA), Watkins (1st rd), Herremans, (4th rd), Dunlap (7th rd), Kelly (5th rd), Vallos (SFA), Menkin (UDFA). The guys cut, Vandervelde (6th rd), Shipley (7th rd), etc.
      He turned Kelce (6th rd) into a promising young center.

      I think the problem is MM, Mudd coaches a style designed for quick hitting plays, you attack the OL, you hold for a couple seconds and the ball should be gone, these aren’t 330 lb guys who are going to step back and anchor for 5 seconds like Castillo’s lines (who couldn’t run block).

      There’s a disconnect between the play calling and the OL scheme.

      • ACViking

        No disagreement on the “chicken-egg” question. But Mudd’s coached his share of O-lines on bad teams.

        I agree that MM’s more responsible than Mudd. Or AR, even — because I believe that MM is executing AR’s philosophy.

        Nonetheless, the Pass Protection seems just terrible this year. Even on quick-pass plays, Vick is getting hit.

        That’s why I ask where Mudd fits in the “blame game,” since the NFL has changed over the course of Mudd’s career and the Eagles, under Reid, throw the ball more than just about anyone else?

        • Mac

          The big thing with a Mudd o-line is playing an attack style scheme even on passing downs right? So the question I have is this.

          Does a “retreating style” o-line offer an extra .2 seconds to identify blitzers and thereby reduce the number of free runners coming at Vick?

  • zbone95

    Castillo got outplayed by smarter OC’s so this was necessary. Hey Tommy, for the Offensive play calling, does Marty call all the plays or does Reid make the calls? If they do wanna fire Marty who will they replace him with? I would like the RUnning Backs coach so they can run with mccoy and brown and pound the rock like the patriots and pass when needed.

  • tdilla

    I got the sense that Castillo was not well respected by the defense. They seemed to appreciate his work ethic and enthusiasm, which would be great for a high school program, but in the NFL that simply won’t cut it. Given Nnamdi’s comments post-game, the players seemed to quietly question Castillo’s decisions and credibility. This lack of respect for Castillo could have also manifested itself in the numerous defensive penalties the team has been assessed…just look at Fletch coldclocking a Lion on a friggin’ extra point. I hope that Bowle’s “take-no-shit” attitude, coupled with his much more robust resume, will turn this above-average Eagles D into the elite unit it can be.

    • Mac

      I get the feeling Castillo really wants to run a defense, he has more passion for that side of the football. I think you’re on the mark with the work ethic thing and I’m betting he transitions to coaching defense at the college level.

  • Ark87

    I know the general reaction to this is joy. For many, this has been a long time coming.

    I have a bad feeling though. When teams start doing knee-jerk reactions like this in the middle of the season…it’s really bad. As i mentioned earlier, the defense has been by far the most successful unit on this team by far. If the D really back Juan, or viewed this firing as punitive for their play, while the offense and ST get off easy….this could get ugly.

    This is a very bad sign of things to come, no matter how you slice it. We are in uncharted water, Andy just did something extremely uncharacteristic. “History says with Andy…” goes right out the window. History says Andy will have a firm grip of his locker room. History says the Eagles will be better after the bye week. Stuff is definitely different this year. How will players respond to, “no body is safe”? Even-keel Andy is gone. That stability he brings is gone. I see a desperate man cracking under extreme pressure. I’m hanging on to my seat for a wild ride. This could get ugly folks.

    I think it’s long odds that we right this ship. I see a coaching era in it’s death throes. Hope I’m wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    This sucks. I really wanted Juan to succeed. The D blowing the 4th quarter lead vs the Lions could not have have come at a worse time for him.

    • ACViking

      Seems like Juan’s firing was inevitable.

      This year’s defense, for reasons T-Law will explain during the bye (right?), has become less and less effective over the past few games.
      _________________

      I like that Reid “thought out of the box” in elevating him.

      But maybe Juan wasn’t the right guy to be first OL-coach to go into outer space.

      His defenses — particularly the blitzes — seemed so vanilla.

      That’s ironic, considering that Reid touted Juan’s discussions with JJ about blitzes when announcing the hiring 20 months ago.
      _________________

      I hope Juan lands on his feet . . . and coaches some team’s line to a SB title or an NCAA national championship. What a decent man.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        It was clear that they weren’t going to run a Jim Johnson system when Washburn was given so much control of the defensive philosophy.

        In hindsight, everything is inevitable — but the outcome of just one or two plays (even ones that seemed innocuous at the time) could have been the difference between the team going 4-2 and Castillo keeping his job vs. what actually happened.

  • T_S_O_P

    I’ve deliberately stayed away for a couple of days and this article could have started and finished with it’s opening word. Wow indeed.

  • P_P_K

    If the O line continues to play so crappy, Andy can fire Mudd and bring Juan back. Then he can call Donovan and find out if he’s in shape. There, problems solved.