Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo

On S Nate Allen's performance in the second preseason game after coming off knee surgery last season: "I think, for him, it's just a level of getting comfortable, and me doing a better job putting him in better situations."

On how he plans to get players to stop offensive plays that develop after they break down: "What it is, is we just practice hard. We started this morning, we had a walkthrough. We really started yesterday. Just keep practicing hard. Everything is a process. We're doing the right fundamentals; we're working on a certain scheme. The Steelers are a very good team. We just have to continue to get better and I have to do a better job with the whole situation."

On whether Allen is healthy enough to play: "Well, you know, yes. He's been practicing and it looks like he's moving. I think part of it is just getting comfortable being back out there and having confidence in his knee."

On why the coaches felt that LB Casey Matthews got better as the game went on: "Well you know what; he only had seven plays the first game. Sometimes I think it's important to understand, when you're looking at a game and you think 'well it's this guy's fault,' you know, sometimes, unless you understand what's going on, well this guy it wasn't his gap. The ball goes into certain different gaps. Casey is going to be, it's his first time being a middle linebacker. He's going to get better, and better, and better. Every day he'll get better."

On how to effectively close the gaps in the wide nine defensive front: "When you look at the end of the night, I think they had like a 3.7 (yards per carry). I think the thing was they had a few big runs and I think that's the thing that you have to be able to stop, being gap secure. But I think there's an advantage to what we're trying to do. I've got to do a better job of putting our guys in a good position so they can be successful."

On why the Eagles did not address the linebacker position during free agency: "When I look at it, they did address it. They drafted some kids. They're young kids that they drafted. It takes time to develop kids. Going back to some of you guys, I'm sure your first year when you started doing what you're doing now, I'm sure you're a lot better now than you were when you first started. It's a process, and it's our job to develop the kids and make them better. I'm responsible and I have to do a better job and they'll continue to get better just because we're doing the right things. We're doing the right fundamentals and it takes time."

On whether the linebackers are just as ready as some of the other positions: "The linebackers will be ready. To win the Super Bowl, remember, it takes 16 weeks, and then really whoever is playing their best during the playoffs. So when you look at it there's time to develop. You can say that there's not, but the key is, who's playing or fundamentally who's the best come week eight, nine, ten, and during that crunch time. And over the years we've been pretty good during that time, and we'll continue to do that. The young kids will get better just because they're working the proper fundamentals."

On whether he considers LB Jamar Chaney an insurance policy he can fall back on if he's not happy with the middle linebacker play because he played there last year: "Jamar is playing a position that's special. That SAM linebacker, I don't know if you noticed that, that's a special position for us. It's almost a hybrid. He's got to be able to run, but yet, he's got to be able to come in there and take on that C gap. That's a pretty important position to us. He's a pretty good player, playing a position that's very important for us."

On LB Moise Fokou playing the SAM position last year: "We moved Moise to the other side, just because of some of the things we're trying to do."

On whether Matthews struggled less than it appeared: "I think what it is, is when you look at it, you take it down step by step. What we're trying to do, is we're trying to be a team that the linebackers use their hands. Most of the time, most teams, not everybody, uses their hands, so it takes a little bit of time for the kids to understand. It has to become muscle memory. It has to be something that you work over, and over, and over. What we saw in Casey is that as the game went on and he felt more comfortable he started doing a better job with that. It was something that continued. We'll work on that every day, over, and over, and over. Then it will become muscle memory and the linebackers will be one of the best groups in the NFL, fundamentally."

On whether the linebackers need to play more than other players in the preseason to be ready for week one: "What we try to talk about, is it's about practice. Practice is playing. Practicing fast, practicing hard, practicing physical. That's what we did yesterday, that's what we'll do this afternoon. Those are reps that are important for those kids, but we're trying to get them in practice so they feel that. We're trying to put them in those situations so they can get that experience in practice."

On whether the Eagles need bigger defensive tackles because of the wide nine scheme: "No, I mean we have really good defensive tackles. It's nice to have (DT) Mike (Paterson) back, it's nice to have (DT) Trevor (Laws) back, those guys are good football players. Especially Mike, people don't understand, unless you watch the tape, how good of a football player Mike Patterson is. Mike Patterson is a very good football player against the run. I'd say he's one of the best."

On how they will stop runs up the middle if they're lined up wide: "Those guys that start outside, they end up squeezing the hole. That's their responsibility. Then we have somebody to come and fill that gap. So now, you're able to be sound. Fundamentally, there's no place to run."

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