Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo

On how the film of Thursday's game looked: "There are some good things as far as what we're trying to do. The guys played fast. They were physical, and there were some good fundamentals. As always we still have some weaknesses, and it takes a little bit of time to get everything right. They'll keep playing faster and physical. We've got some tough guys. The fundamentals will keep getting better, because that's what we're working on."

On how he felt about the tempo: "That's basically what I'm saying. When I talk about play fast, that's what we mean, the tempo part of it. I think you saw that today. You're going to play the way you practice. We practice fast, and we we're physical today, and fundamentally sound."

On LB Casey Matthews' performance on Thursday: "He did an excellent job running the defense, you know, with the substitutions, and there were a couple of times that they were in different personnel than we thought and he was able to handle that. He had an excellent practice today and he's working hard every day to improve."

On the biggest challenge Matthews will face: "I think he's got the same challenges that linebackers have. It's just being able to come up and take a block on, and shrug it, and get a release and make the play. That's the toughest thing for linebackers, and there are really not a lot of guys in the NFL that can do that. For him, he's a young guy, that's the thing that were trying to get him to do is be really good at that. As far as the way he handles the huddle and does a good job in coverage, he's excellent."

On the depth at the linebacker position: "We talk about these things all the time, meaning that we all had the chance to be where we're at. A lot of you guys, somebody gave you a chance, and I'm sure that there were a few people where you were working at that said 'Man, why'd they give him a chance? He can't do it.' But the guy that taught you did a good job, and that's what we're doing. (Linebackers Coach) Mike (Caldwell) is a good teacher, and I work in there with Mike and those guys. It's a process. They're good athletes, they're tough, they're physical, they want to be good, and that's what it takes."

On whether this is the deepest he's seen the corner position and his tinkering with the defensive personnel: "In practice we've been able to do that, but we haven't been able to do that in a game. The NFL is a matchup game. We want to be able to put the people, we have (CB) Nnamdi (Asomugha), and then we've got (CB) Dominique (Rodgers-Cromartie), and (CB) Jose(lio Hanson), and of course (CB) Asante (Samuel), but just to be able to, OK, what's the best package against what they're going to do. So right now we're just going back and forth with different packages that we may have to use throughout the year."

On preparing for different situations they may see during the season: "That's the best thing to do because, alright, maybe one of our guys has had some success against this guy, so why can't he follow him, why can't he be in the slot? It's a matchup game and that's what we're going to try to do, but in practice you have to work all those different situations, all those different groups so that our guys can be prepared for that. You may not see it in the preseason games, but we'll continue to work different groupings with those guys and get prepared for the season."

On capitalizing on Rodgers-Cromartie's speed by using him as a blitzer: "His name is Dominique, and he told me he doesn't really like DRC, so I'm not going to call him that, I call him Dominique. He's a very good athlete, a great kid, hard worker. He's a great kid."

On CB Curtis Marsh's development: "Well you know what, in college he only played corner for two years, but he played it in high school. We knew he was athletic, we knew that he was smart, and that he was a tough kid, so we knew it was just a matter of time, of fundamentals. Again, working those fundamentals. (Secondary/Cornerbacks) Coach Johnnie Lynn working with the corners, (Secondary/Safeties Coach) Mike Zordich working with the safeties, Mike Caldwell working with the linebackers, and (Defensive Line Coach) Jim Washburn working with the d-line. It's just a matter of time that he's going to come along, because he's a good athlete."

On whether it has been a challenge trying to assimilate all of the new players into camp: "You know, I think just the d-line has really been the one that's kind of, and it's tough. We ran a blitz the other day, and the problem is we had that one installed early in camp but some of those guys weren't here. But (DT Marlon Favorite) is doing a great job adjusting, and then the kids that they're bringing in here, (general manager) Howie (Roseman) and his staff, I mean those guys want a job and they're playing hard. I think you saw that today. We had a lot of energy today, we're playing hard and the guys understand that the way you practice is the way you play. So everything that we want to do in games we're trying to do them on the field."

On his thoughts about the veteran leadership on the defense: "We talk about having 11 playmakers. So I want to say to you that if 11 guys are playing fast, eleven guys are being physical, 11 guys are playing sound then 11 guys are going to be prepared to make plays. I think when you look out there I don't think you see just those guys playing fast and being leaders, I think you see everybody getting after it."

On whether the line of scrimmage is more ones versus ones this year: "It's always been, (head) coach (Andy) Reid is if we don't tackle we normally go ones versus ones."

On his thoughts about the less talented players on the defensive line making big plays: "What you see is that they want a job; the hunger, the desire, the energy, the fight, which is what we all want to be about. And they have it because they're trying to find a job and it's exciting because they're practicing hard and they're doing a good job."

On whether DE Phillip Hunt's size hurts him compared to taller and leaner defensive ends: "That's the key is how fast, how quick you can run so you can get around those big linemen. And if you can run and they can't catch you it's hard for them to block you. And I think that's the key with Phillip."

On whether he thinks it's more beneficial for the ones to play against the ones when there isn't any tackling: "You know, what our guys understand is that we practice tackling and that's the first drill we do as a warm up. We have a tackle circuit that we've done every day and that's what's going to help us be better tacklers. And then the next thing is the pursuit. When you miss a tackle then everybody else is going fast to the football so that they can make up for that guy that missed the tackle."

On S Jarrad Page's interception the other night and whether he brings a veteran presence to the defense: "He's a playmaker. That was a big play in the redzone. We talk about not giving up a touchdown in the redzone and making plays down there and he made a play. And you see him out here and he's pretty athletic. So we'll see what he does this week."

On his thoughts about DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim: "Well that's what preseason games are for to see his progress. And Te'o's a good kid, a hard worker, big heart, a lot of desire. So we're all pulling for him to do a good job and see where he comes out."

On the wide-9 system and the defense's ability to defend the run: "It's a penetration of the defensive linemen getting up the field and then the linebackers are doing a good job playing off that penetration because that's important. It goes hand in hand because sometimes they may not be in their gaps because they're getting up the field, and then the linebackers play off whatever gap they play, they take the other gap."

On whether he will carry six defensive ends: "You know what, you'd have to ask coach Reid about that one."

On the defense being dominant in the redzone during the morning practice: "The thing is the guys are playing fast. And you keep saying the exact same things, if they're playing fast and they're being physical, and they're playing fundamentally solid with their techniques, I mean that's the key. If you can play fast, be physical, and then play fundamentally sound, then you have a chance."

On whether the play of the defense against the Ravens is an accurate assessment of how he wants to play: "Well, we talked about that, it was exciting. We had our meeting last night, we adjusted a few things and talked about we want to be fast. And we're not where we want to be yet, but you can see that the guys are playing fast, they played physical. And Baltimore's a physical team and I think this will be a challenge Thursday with Pittsburgh. And then fundamentally sound, the fundamentals they keep getting better. I mean, that's just the way it is. We've just been in camp a couple weeks so the fundamentals will keep getting better."

On his thoughts about the biggest problem with last year's redzone defense: "Well, you know what, I'm worried about 2011 and about looking at what happened today in practice and go from there."

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