Now that I’ve finally been able to pick my jaw up from the floor, the news of our heralded OL coach Juan Castillo becoming our DC has sunk in…a little bit. I’ve been doing my best to come up with a theory as to why the Eagles decided to go this route. I mean, there has to be more to this than just Juan being the best candidate for the job, right? I don’t care what the Eagles’ PR machine is feeding us right now about Castillo, he was an OFFENSIVE line coach and has never coached defense at the NFL level. There are/were candidates available who have actual, you know, experience coaching on the defensive side of the ball. Here are 2 of my main thoughts:
Theory #1:This is a 1 year fill-in deal because Reid may be thinking…or being told…that next year may be his last as head coach of the Eagles. What would be the point of bringing in a Winston Moss or Darren Perry if there was a real chance that they could be fired after one year because the head coach is gone? New head coaches almost always bring in “their” DC’s and OC’s.
If you noticed, the process of hiring a DC sped up after the announcement of Jeff Fisher leaving the Titans followed by rapid speculation that he was going to be our new DC. But that was quickly debunked as well when word got out that Fisher wanted to take the year off because he felt a little worn out. The thought process could be that the Eagles’ brass is eyeing up Fisher to be our next head coach. If I was a gambling man, I’d bet that the Eagles certainly discussed their open DC position with Fisher…and possibly a future head coaching position.
Some might say, “If that was the case, why wouldn’t Fisher take the DC position for a year with the idea of him taking over at some point?” Well, the answer could be that 1. His presense would have loomed large over Reid all year and caused a serious distraction driven by fans and media, and 2. Fisher simply wanted a year away from football to recharge his batteries. Both answers make sense.
And if you think about it, it would be much easier to move Castillo back to OL coach then to have to fire a new DC. Reid and the Eagles try to be “fair” to players and coaches as much as possible. It’s very feasible that they didn’t want to bring in a position coach who would be making his first run as a coordinator only to be fired a year later. That could be detrimental to a young coach (McDermott withstanding).
Theory #2: They wanted to stay internal because of the CBA situation. If there is an extended lockout, the new DC wouldn’t have much time, if any, to install a new scheme and/or to gel with his players (and gain their respect). They could be giving Juan a 1 year “trial” period to prove himself and if it doesn’t work out, next year they land their preferred candidate (aka, someone with a defensive background at least).
If there is an extended lockout, staying internal could be viewed as the best choice for next season. The players and Juan are already familiar with each other and have a decent idea of what to expect. With a new guy there would be many unknowns and thus many disadvantages. And just like my other theory, if it doesn’t work out with Juan as DC he could just easily slide back over to OL…and Mudd slides (no pun intended) back into retirement.
Of course maybe Reid, Banner, Roseman, and Lurie truly felt Castillo was the best option. But you know us Eagle fans, we always look for ulterior motives for such questionable moves. In the end, I just want the Eagles defense to be better. If Juan can help, I’ll be a happy fan.