Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coord. Juan Castillo

On how LB Akeem Jordan became the first team WILL linebacker: "Akeem Jordan has probably had one of the better training camps since I've been around. He made a lot of plays. He was very productive. We grade our players every day, and Akeem has been making plays. He just deserved a chance. He's worked hard.  I think the key thing is that he's been very productive in games and practices, and he's graded out very high."

On whether he wanted to see him play that spot since he has not so far this camp: "I think the thing with Akeem before and why he was always valuable was he was always a kid who can play all three positions. That's why he's been so valuable. The thing is that this year, really from the first week, is, 'Wow, Akeem made a play.' Initially, you say, 'Okay, he's great. He's going to be our fourth guy.' All of the sudden, in a scrimmage, it's 'Oh man, Akeem again. He graded out pretty high.' (He's) making plays, making tackles, and recognizing things and getting everybody lined up. All of the sudden, it just continued and it has continued. Really, he's playing at a top level and better than he ever has as an Eagle. He's been rewarded."

On how different the SAM and WILL are in the Eagles defense: "Sometimes, with the tight end motioning, it ends up that the WILL becomes the SAM and the SAM becomes the WILL. Really, they're interchangeable."

On where LB Jamar Chaney would fit in if he were healthier: "Before he got hurt, Jamar was also – there has been a lot of good competition in camp, especially at the linebacker position. With (LB) DeMeco (Ryans) coming in and giving them the leadership and showing them how to study and how to work, all those things, with those young kids there has really been some good competition. Jamar had a good camp, but unfortunately he had that hamstring, but he was having a good camp, too, along with Akeem."

On where LB Brian Rolle fits in now: "Brian has had a solid camp, but Akeem was very productive. Coach (Reid) going in talked about competition. The guys that were productive and making plays, he was going to give them an opportunity to play. Akeem earned it. Like I said initially, it was like, 'Oh man, good play, good job Akeem.' (And then,) 'Oh damn man, that was a heck of a play. That's a nice one. Good position, good play.' Then he had a couple plays in the Patriots game where he matched up with a receiver and did a great job. You were like, 'Whoa,' when you go back and watch it again. You say, 'Now wait a minute, he's been doing that the whole camp consistently, playing at a top level.' He earned the opportunity."

On the timing of the decision: "Like I said before, just because of the tight end movement, there are times where the SAM becomes the WILL and the WILL becomes the SAM. Like I said, Akeem has been one of our top reserve guys and we could plug him in everywhere. We feel that he'll practice the position and it shouldn't be a problem."

On whether he is anxious to get away from rotating linebackers in and out: "Really, the thing we'd like to is like last year, where we had different (groups). First, we had base. Then, we had first and second-down buffalo, we called it. We had third-down nickel and third-down dime. We had a lot of different positions where we had some good athletes there and good competition. We'd like to be able to use as many of those guys who have earned an opportunity to play (as we can)."

On what he has seen from S Jaiquawn Jarrett since he struggled in the first preseason game: "I have seen the same thing as far as the practices, and he is very physical. We have talked about, after that game, he came back and had a very physical practice. He's feeling comfortable at the position, he's making plays, and he continues to get better."

On how much it hurts to not have DT Mike Patterson available: "Mike P has a lot of heart. He still comes to our meetings. Mike P is on our door. We talk about turnovers, and he (caused) a fumble and picked it up and was carrying it the right way. We have him right on the wall – that's how much we think about him. It hurts. The thing is that we're very fortunate – we have a few defensive linemen that are right now competing. There are eight starters, and they're all competing for those spots."

On how CB Brandon Boykin is developing: "He's a playmaker. He has a lot of ability and he's getting more comfortable in our system. You see that Brandon gets close enough to the receiver to make a play, whether it is to get a pass breakup or to make an interception in practice."

On whether Boykin is pushing CB Joselio Hanson for the nickel corner role: "There's good competition there, yes."

On S Nate Allen's hamstring issue: "You have to talk to our trainer about that. I'll find out about that later."

On the competition to make the roster at defensive line: "It's exciting. The competition is going to go until the last minute. I think there are still some things (to work out), and some of those guys are going to play in the Jets game. There is a lot of competition and we hope everything kind of irons itself out. As you guys know, there's a lot of competition there which is really a great thing to have as a team."

On how CB Brandon Hughes and CB Curtis Marsh have played on the outside: "They're competitors, and I think you saw that last week in the Browns game. They tested them, and they both will get up in your face and challenge you. Really, they have done that all camp. We're excited about both of those guys as they continue to grow. That's what we want because they challenge the receivers and compete."

On whether Hughes or Marsh could assert themselves to be the clear cut third outside corner: "Yes."

On the decision to cut CB Cliff Harris: "Some of those other kids there have had good camps. There is still some good competition there. You haven't brought up (CB) Trevard (Lindley). Trevard really is having a quiet, good camp. You saw him in the Cleveland game. There really is some good competition back there in the back end, too, and that was (general manager) Howie (Roseman)'s and Coach Reid's goal was to bring in enough guys so they can compete at every position and have a good camp. That's what we have."

On whether Castillo thinks that CB Nnamdi Asomugha is still a top level cornerback: "I think that every elite corner gets a ball caught on them every so often. That's football. Unfortunately, I think the thing that was important for us in that game was they made a big play on us, but then someone else rose up to the occasion and they got zero points. That's what we've been preaching is that in games, things happen – penalties in the first couple of games and third downs. But, what happened there is someone else was able to make a play. We had a lot of penalties there, too, but somebody made a play. All of the sudden, they got zero points in the red zone and that's the key. Then, we come back the next series and they're out of there. That was a good thing to see."

On whether penalties are an issue at this point for the defense: "It's something that we're working on to correct. The thing is that they've been full-speed penalties, and not because of a lack of effort. The guys are working hard. The thing that has to happen is, if you do have a penalty on a drive that keeps the drive going, somebody has to make a play to get us back on track, meaning a turnover just like the other night. We had three of them the other night, but those are the things that we are preaching. Penalties are going to happen. You don't want them to happen and you don't want very many, but they do happen. Now, to keep your composure as a group and as a team, everyone takes care of everybody. So when someone gets a big play here, somebody else comes back and they make a play and they make up for it. That's what we're trying to preach in our meeting room is that things happen like that."

On what Castillo needs to see from the bottom level defensive lineman to help sort out the roster: "We saw that the first three games. They're coming off of the ball, and (defensive line coach Jim) Wash(burn) talks about rushing, crushing, and closing. They're not just pass rushing. That's why he talks about it. (There is) rush. Crush means that if somebody tries to block them that they're going to squeeze that block. They are playing the run. Close means that nobody blocks them and they're going to squeeze. That's pretty basically what we've been doing, and we want to see them continue. There's going to be some tough decisions and like I said, it will go right to the last minute."

On why this is a good mix of players in the current linebacker group: "They're athletic. They can run, they're tough, and they're hungry. What (De)Meco (Ryans) has added is that he has that experience. What he has added is that now the kids have seen how they're supposed to watch tape and how they're supposed to act on the field. 'Meco is a no nonsense type of guy. Now, they're looking at a guy who has been in the league and who has done it. He is showing them how you're supposed to act and how you're supposed to take care of it. Now, you take that and mix that with athletic guys, and you have a good group. You have a good group, and they're competing. There is going to be some tough decisions there, too."

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