Juan Castillo Out as Defensive Coordinator, Todd Bowles Named DC
By: Kim O'Hara | Posted: October 16, 2012
The old adage must be true after all: you can't teach an old offensive line coach defensive coordinator tricks. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has been fired after 22 games in his role. Castillo had been with the organization since 1995 in an offensive capacity, but was shuffled over to the primary defensive role in a puzzling move before the 2011 season. Defensive backs coach Todd Bowles will assume DC responsibilities from this week forward.
#Eagles have dismissed Juan Castillo from his duties & named secondary coach Todd Bowles as the team’s new defensive coordinator.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 16, 2012
The announcement comes on the heels of another blown fourth quarter lead at home against the Detroit Lions, after five such performances in the 2011 season. In those five fourth quarter collapses last year, Philadelphia was outscored 60-3. It goes without saying that the organization had hoped to improve its fourth quarter performance in 2012.
This particular implosion featured Lions premier receiver Calvin Johnson with five catches for 107 yards in the final quarter and overtime. In the first three quarters combined, Johnson posted just one reception for 28 yards. After the game, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who had covered Johnson successfully for 75% of the game, explained that the defensive scheme was altered in the fourth quarter. Without directly pointing any fingers, he intimated that the change in coverage is what let Johnson loose:
"The fourth quarter was a lot of blitzing. So, the fourth quarter, they were able to find the matchups they wanted amidst the blitzing. You could say, 'You should blitz more,' but we did that and it didn't help us in the end."
"I was on him most of the game. I think when we got to the fourth quarter, there was a lot more trying to give him a different look. We talked about, 'Let's give him something else,' so that he doesn't get comfortable with the one guy or however it is. So we just wanted to give him a different look."
After Sunday's frustrating loss that included two Michael Vick interceptions (bringing his total to 13 turnovers this season) along with the defensive collapse, the Philadelphia fanbase is understandably frustrated. While much of the furor is directed at Vick and head coach Andy Reid, a change at defensive coordinator should appease the mostly anti-Castillo masses and could help the Eagles reach their ultimate goal of a playoff berth. With a 3-3 record and a bye this week, that's certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
Kim O'Hara is the Associate Editor of TheFootballGirl.com. She is an avid fan of sports in general, but the NFL in particular. She has also been a contributor to ESPN the Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @arahomik
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