After Sunday's loss at the hands of the Detroit Lions, tight end Brent Celek let his feelings be known – this Eagles team was too talented to be playing the way it had been. Those feelings appeared to surface again, this time from head coach Andy Reid. The coach announced Tuesday that Juan Castillo had been removed as defensive coordinator and had been replaced by secondary coach Todd Bowles.
The move sent shockwaves through the NFL and, most importantly, the team. Even players on the offense understood the message.
"It just shows us that everyone's got to step up," Celek said Tuesday. "We have to play better. I don't know what else there is to say. I've been saying it for two days. We all have to play better. It starts with every one of us. We all have to look in the mirror and (figure out) what we can do to make this organization and this team better."
Recently Castillo's defense struggled late in games. The unit surrendered 17 fourth quarter points to the Lions Sunday and could not stop the Steelers' offense from driving down the field for the game-winning field goal the week before.
While the defense's overall numbers weren't bad – 12th in overall defense, 15th in rushing – there is certainly room for improvement. Reid is hoping that Bowles, a former NFL starter and Super Bowl winner, can energize the defense.
Still, there is a human side to the story. Castillo was one of the longest-tenured assistants in franchise history. Castillo was one of only four holdovers from the Ray Rhodes regime. He had been with the Eagles since 1995 and coached the offensive line from 1998 through 2010. Since being drafted in 2007, Celek has gotten to know Castillo and was saddened by the news.
"I love Juan. Juan's a great guy," Celek said. "I'll always think that. He's a hard worker. Things happen in life and you have to move on. I really have a lot of respect for him and I wish him well.
"He was our defensive coordinator. And to let your defensive coordinator go, that's a pretty big move. But Andy realizes the type of team we have and the potential we have and obviously we as a team aren't living up to it."
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