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Eagles Make Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo New Defensive Coordinator

The Philadelphia Eagles left heads scratching when they turned long-time offensive line coach Juan Castillo into their defensive coordinator on Wednesday. The move was announced after the Eagles spent three weeks seeking a replacement for Sean McDermott. The first line of Castillo’s altered wikipedia page demonstrates how most people feel about the news — “Juan Castillo (born October 8, 1959) is somehow an American football defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.”

As in, a coach with 16 years of offensive experience with the Eagles is somehow now the defensive coordinator. Had he switched to defensive line coach, or linebackers coach, that would have been one thing. But making a guy who has worked on the opposite side of the ball the leader of the defense? Now that will raise questions. As Birdphood pointed out, it even sparked questions amongst the players:

Asante Samuel asked, “The offensive line coach?”

Mike McGlynn: “Really? That’s crazy, That’s amazing.”

Omar Gaither: “I think everybody is shocked, I didn’t know Juan knew defense.”

Fellow coaches around the league were more supportive of the move, including Leslie Frazier who said Castillo always helped with the defensive gameplan, and Ron Rivera who believes Castillo can make the cross over.

I’d like to say I believe in the move and Andy Reid’s decision-making process, but I’d be lying. I know the Eagles hired Howard Mudd to coach the offensive line and they wanted to find a new role for Castillo, but why not start him out coaching a defensive position first? Why make him the defensive leader immediately? Seems to me that you’re placing a large burden on him unnecessarily. I like coaches that think outside the box so I hope this works out, but like everyone else I have some doubts.

Then again, this is only football, and Castillo used to play defense, so why should it be made out to be too complicated? I guess we’ll find out if it can be done.



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