Sources: Eagles mulled D consultant

Updated: October 11, 2011, 12:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has engaged in discussions with the team's front-office hierarchy on whether to bring in a defensive consultant if the team continues its struggles this week in a key game against the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

The team has a bye week following that game, and Reid is seeking solutions that can help Juan Castillo, a longtime offensive line coach who is in his first year as defensive coordinator, the sources said.

Reid, through a team spokesman, said Tuesday he was not hiring a defensive consultant, and wanted to note that fixing 12 turnovers generated by the offense in four straight losses was a high priority. He did not specifically address whether a discussion on a potential defensive consultant had occurred, as the sources maintain.

Eagles are 1-4 following Sunday's 31-24 loss at Buffalo, and their Super Bowl expectations have been reduced to a mere fantasy.

The Eagles are ranked 15th in overall defense, 30th against the run and tied for 27th in points allowed. Although the unit is tied for second with 16 sacks, it has forced just five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles).

Reid on Monday said that he was pleased the defense allowed only 10 points in the second half of Philadelphia's fourth straight defeat.

Castillo on Sunday acknowledged that he has "to do a better job in the first half."

"Right now, we have no room for error," he told reporters, according to the team's website. "Guys are playing hard. They're practicing hard. We're getting better. We have to win games. There were some things I saw on the field where we have improved. We battled in the fourth quarter."

Under Reid, this is the third time the Eagles have started the season 1-3. Neither of the first two rebounded to make the postseason. In 1999, Reid's rookie year, the Eagles finished 5-11 after a 1-3 start, and in 2007, the team needed to win its last three games of the season to finish 8-8.

Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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