Lurie: Andy Reid's call to fire DC
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said Tuesday that Andy Reid made the call on his own to fire defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and also admitted that he had questions from the beginning when his head coach made the former offensive line coach his defensive coordinator last season.
"The way I operate, a coach is responsible for his staff. (He needs to) succeed or fail based on who he chooses and his own performance. I don't trigger that," Lurie told the Philadelphia Daily News from the NFL owners meetings in Chicago.
Eagles' 4th Quarter Struggles
The Eagles have blown an NFL-high seven fourth-quarter leads since the start of 2011, when Juan Castillo became the defensive coordinator. A big reason: Stout in the first three quarters, the Eagles' defense becomes ordinary in the final frame.
Eagles defense: NFL ranks,
|Category||1st 3 Qtrs||4th Qtr|
|3rd down pct.||1st||30th|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Lurie also said he was apprehensive when Reid initially made the call before last season to make Castillo, who has never coached defense in the NFL, the Eagles' defensive coordinator.
"But I let Andy make that call. I respected his decision. He felt it was the best thing to do at the time, and I don't interfere in that area," Lurie told the newspaper.
Reid on Tuesday said firing Castillo was "one of the tougher things I've had to do." Secondary coach Todd Bowles was promoted to defensive coordinator, replacing Castillo.
Castillo told Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia that he has no hard feelings toward Reid despite being let go.
"I love Coach," Castillo told the station. "I said it before, I'd take a bullet for Coach. Coach gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, man. And I didn't get it done. And that's hard. But as my players know, keep working hard and if you outwork people, maybe somebody will give me a second chance. And then I can get it done."
On defense, the Eagles are a confusing unit. They suddenly can't seem to get to the quarterback. After leading the NFL with 50 sacks last year, they have only seven this year and none in the past three games. And Philadelphia has the 13th-best points-allowed defense in the NFL (20.8 ppg) despite its opponents having the best average starting field position in the league.
Graziano: Reid's Desperation Evident
The decision to fire Juan Castillo is the clearest sign yet that Andy Reid understands he's coaching under serious job-security pressure for the first time in the 14 years he's spent in Philadelphia, Dan Graziano writes. Blog
The Eagles (3-3) are on a bye this week, and Reid hinted more changes could be coming. An offense that features several dynamic players is next-to-last in scoring in the NFL and has turned the ball over in bunches.
Reid doesn't have much job security himself, so he'll likely try anything to win. Lurie already said in the preseason that another 8-8 season would be "unacceptable." Lurie even said last year that he considered firing Reid after the team failed to live up to high expectations.
Castillo said Tuesday he'll take the blame for the Eagles failing to deliver.
"Last year, Coach hired me to do a job," he told Comcast SportsNet. "The job was to help him win a championship. And I didn't get that accomplished. I know the guys are looking out there. We always talk about being a warrior. A warrior means that you get the job done no matter what.
"And the bottom line is we should be 5-1. The hard part for me was that I let down Coach Reid, I let down the organization and I let down the city."
Information from ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press was used in this report.