Eagles offensive line coach Juan Castillo. The Washington Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 31 to 20 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on January 1, 2006. (Photo by Joseph Labolito/NFLPhotoLibrary)
The biggest Eagles news of the day (besides every local beat writer piling on to the Fire Andy Reid camp) is an ESPN report from Chris Mortensen that the team will consider bringing in a “defensive consultant” during the bye week.
My initial reaction to that news was, “Yes, please.” We’ve noted for a long time now that Juan Castillo appears completely incapable of scheming this defense successfully. Adding an experienced defensive mind to the game planning can only be a positive.
But then I got to thinking, would it really make a difference?
This addition (if it happens at all) is unlikely to be any more experienced than the guys Castillo already has as position coaches. Jim Washburn has been a defensive line coach in the NFL for more than a decade, and has college experience dating back to 1976. Johnnie Lynn has been a defensive backs coach since breaking into the league in 1994 with Tampa Bay.
Either this pair is as incompetent as Castillo (unlikely), their concerns and suggestions have been ignored (more likely), and/or the Eagles players are so bad and Castillo is such a bad play-caller that they basically don’t matter (very likely).
I doubt adding another voice under Castillo — be it Chuck Cecil, Greg Blanche, Eric Mangini, or Jeff Fisher — will change that equation. Replacing Castillo with one of those names might help. Or finding a bunch of linebackers and safeties who can tackle.
Outside of those more radical shake-ups though, Andy Reid would just be applying a band-aid to a gunshot wound.