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JUAN CASTILLO DISMISSED BY PHILADELPHIA
Thu, 18 Oct 2012 02:30 AM EDT

The Eagles are making a change at defensive coordinator, parting 6 games into the season with Juan Castillo, who has been under fire for almost all of the past 2 seasons.

Todd Bowles was named defensive coordinator by Coach Andy Reid.

“I want to point out that I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Juan Castillo as a coach and as a person. He’s one of the finest football coaches that I’ve ever worked with. He has served this organization particularly well for 18 years and letting him go was a difficult decision. I know he will continue to become known as a leading coach in this league and wish him and his family nothing except the best.

“We’re 6 games into the season and average isn’t good enough. I know the potentiality of our team and insist on maximizing it.”

Reid, at 3-3, did not yet address the play at QB of Michael Vick, who has been a turnover machine. However, he announced he may continue to evaluate everything in the bye week.

Team president and owner Jeffrey Lurie claimed in August that 8-8 would not be enough for Reid to keep his job. He’s the longest-tenured coach in the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles were gouged against the run in 2011, using a “wide-9″ alignment that positions defensive ends a full step wide of the outside shoulder of each offensive tackle. That exposed Philadelphia against the run, and the lack of a linebacker presence and safety issues up the middle were problematic. NFL betting lines

This season, the Philadelphia Eagles are holding up against the run and are getting pressure, but not sacks, and lately went a span of more than 11 quarters without a sack. Philadelphia is 30th in the NFL in sacks with seven.

Castillo was named defensive coordinator before the 2011 season but was highly criticized as the Eagles’ defense lagged despite a slew of offseason acquisitions, including Pro Bowl-caliber players in defensive end Jason Babin, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins.

Castillo worked for almost all of the first 16 years he spent with the organization working with the offensive linemen. Reid fired defensive coordinator Sean McDermott in January 2011 and named Castillo to replace him. The Eagles interviewed other experienced coordinators, including Dick Jauron, at the time and passed on the opportunity to hire Steve Spagnuolo at the end of the 2011 season. Spagnuolo, who was fired as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, wound up in New Orleans. He formerly worked under Reid and late coordinator Jim Johnson as linebackers coach and left to become defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.

Sunday’s loss to the Eagles in overtime, in which Philadelphia blew a 10-point lead in the middle of fourth quarter, was the breaking point.

The Philadelphia Eagles usually rely on just a 4-man rush to get pressure on the quarterback, but late in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, Castillo made a decision to start blitzing.

It wasn’t very impressive, and cornerback Asomugha asserted publicly he felt that it was a mistake.


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