Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo

On the depth at the cornerback position: "We're trying to get (CB) Nnamdi (Asomugha) comfortable with his position at corner.  There's some things were going to do.  Right now, really, the first thing is just to get him comfortable with his position.  The first day out we just wanted to try some things with him.  We're trying to put him back so he can learn that position.  You see (CB) Dominique (Rodgers-Cromartie) it's the same thing, sometimes he plays outside, sometimes he plays inside.  So we have some flexibility with those packages."

On the opportunities players are getting working with the ones: "Really we have some nice young kids and the coaches are doing a great job.  (Head) Coach (Andy) Reid put together a good defensive staff for me, teachers, guys that can teach and guys that understand how important fundamentals are.  You see that every day.  They work on the same things over and over and over so they become muscle memory so that we can execute them game day." 

On how valuable the experience is for the young players working in with the ones: "Just the confidence factor that they get, that they get to get in there with the first group is unbelievable, I think."

On how impressed he is with DT Anthony Hargrove: "You know, quick twitch.  He's an athlete, and boy he plays with a lot of energy.  You can see that.  He adds energy to the practice."

On the situation at the safety position: "It's really interchangeable.  It really depends on the coverage.  Which safety are you going to bring down in the box?  You can do either-or depending on the team and the formation.  If you're going to play a two-shell it doesn't really matter which one lines up where.  Sometimes through injury I think they all have to be interchangeable and play both positions and I think we have guys that can do that."

On whom the starters are at safety: "Right now I think there's still some competition out there.  Now the real games start and we'll see."

On his comfort level for the number of snaps defensive tackles can take per game: "There's going to be a system in place.  I really don't want to talk about that.  I think you'll see some of that on Thursday."

On whether the safety play this year is different from previous years: "We probably added a coverage here or there where we play just a little different, I think.  Coach Reid believes, he's on offense, he shared some things with me about what he felt gave him trouble.  I was over there on offense too but when Coach Reid speaks to you and tells you 'Hey Juan, these are some of the things that I feel give offenses or gives our offense trouble' these are things that I would like for me to implement on that side of the ball."

On what S Jaiquawn Jarrett needs to learn and his thoughts on him: "I think we have to tackle for us to see Jaiquawn.  I think you see that in the tackle circuit, he's one of the best form tacklers.  He's got very good form, he's explosive, you see his strength in his hips.  So I think we're going to have a nice look at him on Thursday."

On the challenge facing the rookies playing a game just two weeks after the start of camp: "We've really had some, because of only one practice, I think most of our practices have really been with a lot of energy and very intense against our offense.  Really what the walkthroughs have allowed us to do in the afternoon is to understand our responsibilities, and our rules, and the concepts that we're trying to teach.  They've been able to get some of that."

On whether he is happy with the linebackers' performance in camp thus far: "I think the important thing is when you look at players, you look and you say, well, (DE) Trent Cole was a fifth-round draft pick and he's a very good defensive end.  (CB) Asante Samuel was a fourth-round pick.  I don't think you have to go out and get free agents like that for there to be players.  I think we feel really good about our young kids.  They're going to have to develop.  Right now they're progressing well.  We're going to see where we're at on Thursday.  But then we still have, it's a process.  I think any time you get a young kid it's a process.  When you got your opportunity and you started it was a process for you.  That's just in general, that's just what happens, but, they have to keep getting better."

On his feelings about playing a game Thursday with everything that's new: "I don't think anybody really game plans a game.  It's more of we'll go in and do the things that we've been practicing and then try to match up their stuff.  Really, they have not watched any tape, we really don't game plan.  All we want to do, is really what it allows us to do is kind of refresh and go through all the coverages and blitzes we've been practicing.  Kind of like little review, really.

On whether there is a different feel about the first preseason game than normal: "You know, maybe assignment-wise for everybody because you know all the mini camps and the passing camps, you go through all of the stuff over and over and over. So really you'd be going through it for about the third time by now but really we've only been through it once."

On whether there is an adjustment for LB Moise Fokou moving from SAM to WILL and how much of an adjustment it is: "Really what happens when you look at it is, really those positions, the way we play it, they don't play on the line so they're interchangeable because really when he was at SAM linebacker the tight end was flex. It's no different than where he lines up now because the receiver is flex. And really, everybody has different gap responsibilities depending on the formation or on the front call."

On whether the linebacker positions are solidified or if there is still an ongoing competition: "I think (head) coach (Andy) Reid will tell you that's what camp is for, it's for competition. And those guys will get their first opportunity, and then the other guys will look at tape and grade them and then we'll take it from there."

On whether there is more weight placed on the preseason games than in practice during the evaluation process: "The games are the real thing. And the thing that's hard about the practices is we really haven't been able to tackle. But I mean, you get a feel, now let's see if all the training carries over to the game."

On what he wants to see out of LB Casey Matthews in his first preseason game: "I want to see what he's done in practice. He's really done a great job of handling the huddle. His poise, his composure, you can see sometimes I'll mess up a word here or there like I did. And so, he's able to put things together. I mean, he does a good job."

On whether it's too early in the process to get a sense for how he's going to utilize the cornerbacks: "You know the first day that (CB) Nnamdi (Asomugha) came out we put him at dime just to get a little feel. And really what it was is he needs to learn his position first because we have a few coverages, and even though coverages are the same they have different numbers or different names. I think the first redzone that we had, you see we had a couple of mistakes probably because it's just different terminology with the new guys. And it seemed like we corrected a little better the next time out there. So those are the things, it's still too early to see. We know what we want to do, but it's too early to put it out there."

On the importance of his first game as a coordinator and calling plays: "Well, coach Reid has really done a good thing for me as far as during practices we don't script anything. So what's happening is I'm calling the plays, the defense is really through all of the 7-on-7, all the special cats team, I just call it from – I'm not looking at a script, we don't have it written down, and then really making it harder because you're running around and then boom all of a sudden they tell you the personnel and you have to go ahead and call it. You should end up learning your own defense. I shouldn't have to look at a sheet to call it. But you know, I haven't done it in the NFL. So just like all of us it will be my first time and I'll get better every game."

On whether he's done anything on his own to prepare for the game: "Well you know what, coach Reid put us through that, through the headsets. We've done that about three different times. And you know, you can look at tape and all that but I think the best thing that's helped me is on the field all the special cats, 7-on-7 and you're running around, and then all of a sudden they say, 'okay, it's this personnel'. And I don't have much time to think and boom I give the front and I give the coverage. I think that's the best think that's helped me, especially running around because your head hurts, you're tired. So it's really like bam, bam, you have to call the front and the coverage."

On whether building chemistry is more of a challenge because of the short preseason: "Well, I think that's up to the leader. It's my job to get them together. You know, we have meetings at night and I always open the meeting and I'm the one who always talks to all of the guys. And I think it's about talking to them on different days. I may talk about different things. You know, we talk about fundamentals, we talk about playing fast, we talk about being physical, we talk about taking care of each other. You know, one night the defensive linemen, you say they don't have much on their mind, well they go against 300-pound guys on every play. So our linebackers stood up, and I said look in the back, you have to take care of those guys. Sometimes they might not do something because their focus is on the offensive player, take care of them. And that's what it is, we're going to take care of each other, work hard and be the best."

On whether they've given more reps to the rookies because of the injuries or because the lockout shortened preseason: "No, I think what happens is right now for the first time you can't take too many reps. You want to make sure people don't get hurt so you're letting some of the young guys get in there and get some reps. Those young guys are pretty good players too and it allows them an opportunity to go against the first team so they can see what they're doing."

On his thoughts about DT Anthony Hargrove and what he brings to the team: "A lot of energy and he's a quick twitch. He's very athletic and you see athleticism and you see explosion. Man, you were out there, I mean he has a lot of fire and he plays with a lot of energy. He's excited to be out there and brings that energy to the rest of the guys."

On DE Juqua Parker playing with the first team and DE Jason Babin playing with the second team and whether that position is up for grabs: "Coach Reid always talks about this that he'd like to have two groups of linemen in and out and rotate those guys and keep them fresh so they can keep attacking."

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