Reid: It Was My Decision Alone to Fire Castillo

Reid makes defensive coordinator change and indicates more changes may come

"This is my decision and my decision alone," Eagles head coach Andy Reid told the media Tuesday afternoon, just hours after the Birds announced that defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was gone.

"This is, uh, this is one of the moves and we'll see where this goes from here," Reid said, admitting this was one of the toughest conversations he's had in his 14 years coaching the Eagles.

Back-to-back fourth-quarter defensive breakdowns and a general lack of pressure being applied to the opposing quarterback cost Castillo his defensive coordinator job.

"I've always said that I'm gonna do what I think is best for the Philadelphia Eagles and at this time, I think this move is best. Three-and-3 obviously puts you as an average football team and right now, I think we're better than that," Reid said.

In a sit-down interview with NBC10's Vai Sikahema, Castillo said it hurts because he feels like he let everyone down.

"The thing that hurts is that I let (Reid) down, I let the organization down...I let the city of Philadelphia down," Castillo said. "My job was to bring a championship and I didn't get it done."

"I feel bad for coach Ried that didn't get it done for him, and for the city and for Mr. (Jeff) Lurie."

Castillo thanked Reid for the opportunity and made no excuses about his failure leading the defense.

Reid replaced Castillo with defensive backs coach Todd Bowles.

Reid had to make a change, possibly to save his own job. Even though plenty of blame could be pointed at the woes on the offensive side of the ball where Reid and coordinator Marty Mornhinweg make the calls, Castillo became the scapegoat for the team's problems entering the Bye Week.

The Birds' problems became magnified when the Lions marched up and down the field in the fourth quarter Sunday. The defense allowed the Lions to score 17 points while posting more than 200 yards of offense.

Reid emphasized that the decision had to do with football.

"I want to make it clear that I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Juan Castillo as a coach and as a person," Reid said. "He’s one of the finest football coaches that I have ever worked with. He has served this organization extremely well for 18 years and letting him go was a difficult decision. I know he will continue to be a successful coach in this league and wish he and his family nothing but the best."

Reid made a controversial choice when he picked Castillo to run the defense before the 2011 season. Before that, Castillo spent 16 years coaching on the offensive side of the ball -- mostly the offensive line.

Last season the defense racked up sacks (tied for the league lead with 50) as they adapted to the Wide 9 scheme Castillo implemented with the help of defensive line coach Jim Washburn. The Eagles actually were in the Top 10 in fewest points allowed (20.5) and yards per game (324.9) but in the big moments they couldn't get the big stop.

This season it was more of the same with the exception of the sacks. The Birds have not recorded a sack since Week 3 and place third to last with just seven sacks on the season. They have given up the 15th fewest points per game (20.8) and 12th fewest yards per game (330.8) that seem right on par with last season's numbers.

And those numbers, just like last season, have the Eagles at .500.

"I put Juan in this position," Reid said. "It didn't work out. I take full responsibility for putting him in that situation."

Bowles, 48, a graduate of Temple University, joined the Eagles this season after spending three seasons with the Dolphins as assistant head coach/secondary coach and as interim head coach of the Dolphins for the final three games of last season -- going 2-1. He has coached in the NFL since 2000 but never as a coordinator until now.

Former Eagle Mike Zordich, who was already coaching the safeties, is the only secondary coach left on the Eagles staff. Reid says defensive quality control coach Bobby April III, the son of the Eagles special teams coach, could also step in to help with the secondary.

As for Castillo, he tells Sikahema that he sees himself as defensive coach and will search for a job on the defense rather than offense.

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