Philadelphia Eagles News

A More Conservative Early-Down Approach?

However, that is not the case this year so small nuggets must be gleaned from various interviews that Castillo has done.

One intriguing point that Castillo made in a recent interview with Dave Spadaro was that he liked some of the things that the late Jim Johnson did when he first got to Philadelphia. At the media day for the City High School All-Star Game last week, Castillo was asked whether he would take a more conservative approach regarding the blitz and rely more on Jim Washburn's defensive line to generate pressure on the quarterback. Castillo dodged the question like Michael Vick on a blitz by Giants safety Deon Grant.

"You want to be able to rush with four and then when you blitz, blitz successfully and cover successfully," Castillo said.

Did Johnson blitz fewer times in his early years in Philadelphia? Is that what we can expect from Castillo's crew this upcoming season? The first question will be answered below, but time will tell for the second one. Thanks to Stats Inc., below are tables explaining how much Johnson blitzed in his early years with the Eagles (2000-02), the Super Bowl year (2004) and his final season with the team (2008). Also included is what the defense did last year with Sean McDermott as the defensive coordinator.

Stats Inc. defined a blitz for their research purposes as "when either a defender who is not lined up on the line of scrimmage rushes the quarterback, or more than four players rush the quarterback." The tables below also list the amount of times the blitzes resulted in a sack as well as how many non-blitz sacks the Eagles had. What isn't taken into account are the distances for each down as well as whether the blitz resulted in a turnover or incomplete pass instead of a sack which would also be deemed a success. Other factors like score and league-wide trends also have an impact.

Here's a look at the blitz numbers through some of the lasting years of the Andy Reid era.

2010: Eagles Ranked 12th In Yards, 21st PointsDownBlitzesPass PlaysBlitz Pct.Blitz SacksSack Pct.Non-Blitz Sacks17822434.856.472591793358.5838616552.167.07

2001: Eagles Ranked 2nd In PointsDownBlitzesPass PlaysBlitz Pct.Blitz SacksSack Pct.Non-Blitz Sacks13819319.7615.81025018626.9510738617648.989.38

2002: Eagles Ranked 2nd In PointsDownBlitzesPass PlaysBlitz Pct.Blitz SacksSack Pct.Non-Blitz Sacks14525217.948.91924919125.736.1936816242811.811

2004: Eagles Ranked 2nd In Points, NFC ChampionsDownBlitzesPass PlaysBlitz Pct.Blitz SacksSack Pct.Non-Blitz Sacks16921032.91115.972531962747.51037417741.8810.87

2008: Eagles Ranked 3rd In Yards, 4th PointsDownBlitzesPass PlaysBlitz Pct.Blitz SacksSack Pct.Non-Blitz Sacks17620636.967.9726918437.5913.0638017446911.311
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