Juan and done: Eagles end bizarre experiment with Castillo as defensive leader

Andy Reid just put everyone at the NovaCare Complex on notice. Juan Castillo was fired and replaced with secondary coach Todd Bowles.

Reid’s decision to fire the embattled defensive coordinator yesterday seemed to be the act of a desperate head coach. Castillo, the longtime offensive line guru, was unqualified. No one is debating that. However, the timing of Castillo’s dismissal was peculiar.

A day after Reid lamented his team’s NFL-worst 17 turnovers and called his offense “pathetic,” the move he chose to make was on defense.

“I thought we started off pretty good and then I started seeing some trends come back that I wasn’t real happy about and so I just wanted to make sure that we took care of those,” Reid said. “I’m not going to go into detail. There were just things that I saw that I didn’t want to go in that direction. Tough call.”

Overall, the unit has been much improved from last season, ranking No. 12 in overall defense (yards allowed), while giving up 20.8 points per game. But the Eagles have squandered fourth-quarter leads in two straight losses.

After the Detroit loss, Nnamdi Asmogha questioned Castillo’s decision to switch coverages against Calvin Johnson in the fourth quarter. Johnson, mostly with Asomugha on him, was held to one catch through three quarters. Then, Castillo worked Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie into the rotation.

Reid said the move to replace Castillo was entirely his idea. It had nothing to do with what the players thought. He added that he didn’t even ask his assistant coaches or the front office for advice.

“This is my decision and my decision alone,” Reid said. “I didn’t go to the players with this.”

This could be the first of a litany of moves. Reid admitted he is still evaluating everything — from roster to coaching staff. For now, Mike Vick remains his quarterback.

“Right now Michael Vick is the starting quarterback,” Reid said. “I’ve told you that I’m going through and I’m evaluating.”

Is Big Red coaching for his job?

By firing Juan Castillo, Andy Reid made him a scapegoat for what is quickly turning into a

disappointing season.

The Eagles are 3-3, but another .500 season won’t be good enough to save Reid’s job — at least if you believe what owner Jeff Lurie said. Reid must know that in the back of his mind, so he is doing everything in his power to stay competitive.

When asked if he felt an extra urgency to win now, Reid said, “No.”

“I want to be the best football team we possibly can be,” the coach said. “Right now we’re sitting here at 3-3. That’s not good enough for what I think we have here.”

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