Moving Castillo To Defensive Coordinator Was Doomed From The BeginningBREAKING NEWS, Coaching Staff, Eagles, News Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
First of all, the number one job of a defensive coordinator is being a strategist. Castillo never talked about strategy in his first year. His mind was still on the level of a position coach. For the first year, his demeanor was that of a position coach with all the running around and hugging players after a big play.
He was supposed to be staying ahead of the flow of the game, by trying to figure out what was going to be the next move of the opposing offensive coordinator. A coordinator can show his passion, but he must always be thinking ahead.
Second, Castillo never was able to gain the confidence of his players. One of the keys to being a good coach is being able to gain the confidence of your players. They need to believe that their coach will be giving them the right guidance during the game. I was told that he wasn’t convincing in the defensive meetings.
The comments by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha after the game, questioning the coverages at the end of the game, were a signal that the defensive players didn’t have confidence in him. Castillo’s players knew he was learning on the job and that prevented them from having confidence in him.
The next reason for Castillo’s demise, was the fact that he never developed a feel for the secondary coverages. He came to the job with some knowledge of what went on amongst the front seven, but he was far behind when talking about the passing game and the coverages.
The final reason the Castillo experiment didn’t work was his inability to gain the confidence of his fellow coaches. I was told by a NFL source close to the situation that Castillo never developed a good sense of when to blitz offenses. He didn’t know when the blitz should be called and from what angle it should be coming.
I was told that defensive line coach Jim Washburn had no problem with the defense blitzing more often, but he didn’t have confidence in Castillo’s ability to use the right blitz at the right time.
Now going forward, Todd Bowles will have a lot better chance of succeeding. The team’s defensive backs have already come forward and talked about their confidence in Bowles. He has had more than a decade of experience of competing with opposing offensive coordinators on a strategic level. Bowles has been thinking about and involved with blitz packages and timing of blitzes during his time as a player and coach in the NFL. That’s been about two decades.
This isn’t a stretch. The hiring of Juan Castillo as the team’s defensive coordinator was a stretch.
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