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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo

On what he has seen from LB Brian Rolle so far: "You know, I've seen his athletic ability, he's an explosive player, and he makes plays."

On whether there was any thought during the preseason of promoting Rolle to the starting lineup: "We already had a rotation going. You know, he had some good games, and he had a couple games where he was still learning. Really, they're all still learning and improving every day. He did a good job on certain plays last game, but really they've all been in different packages. He's been in the nickel, [LB] Casey [Matthews] has been in the Buffalo, he's been in base, so really we're just trying to use all of our talent."

On how LB Keenan Clayton fits in: "Well, you know, Keenan was in our dime package. He's still been in different packages. Keenan's a very good athlete, a good coverage person."

On when they drafted Clayton whether they thought he was more of a coverage linebacker: "What's happened is, he's gotten bigger. He's a good athlete, he's a guy that can cover, and really he's getting bigger and stronger to someday be that type of guy that can be in there every down."

On what the message is to Matthews to make sure he stays positive: "Just to keep working hard and keep improving. There's some things that he did well, there's some things that he's doing better, that's the message, and really, he's still in some packages just like [Brian Rolle] was in some packages. He's getting better at certain things and I have got to do a better job with other things."

On whether it is his intention to get Matthews back into the starting lineup when he's ready or whether it is Rolle's spot to lose: "Well I think what you see is, we try to see the guys that play the best. The guys that play the best, those are the guys that are going to play. That's what we're trying to do."

On how important finding three consistent starting linebackers is: "The thing is, is that they've all been playing there. The key is for them to make plays when they're in there and hit the gaps that they're responsible for. Then everything will take care of itself."

On S Nate Allen being back at safety: "You know Nate from last year. We talked about this earlier, it's been a process. He's getting stronger, feeling more comfortable, and I think you see his athletic ability on that one play where they went down the middle, you know, on that post. He's just getting stronger and stronger. We feel good about [S] Kurt [Coleman] too, and [S Jaiquawn Jarrett], so I mean, it gives us some flexibility."

On where Jarrett is in his progress: "You know, what we're doing is, again, he's learning, he was out for a little bit, and he's coming along, learning the scheme, and in time he'll be able to compete."

On whether it is hard to gel as a defense when pieces are being moved around every week: "It's the same scheme, and the backups get reps too, during practice, so no it should not be."

On whether he has any theories why the Eagles have never had stability at linebacker: "I remember when I got hired to coach the offensive line, they had had a problem with offensive linemen. I think they had a couple of first rounders that had been busts. All my life it's been about fundamentals. You know, you work hard, you work the fundamentals, you do them over and over, you see us doing the same thing. We have plans; every position has daily musts that they do over and over and over. That's the way I feel about the linebackers. You see that they are improving, they are young, it's going to take a little bit of time, as far as where you get to see where you say 'aw man, this is a Pro Bowler.' We do have the guys that have the ability to be Pro Bowlers. Now, it's time for us as coaches to develop them, and for them to believe in themselves and make plays."

On whether there is still a feeling-out process about where to use CB Nnamdi Asomugha best: "We've used him a couple different ways, you know. Atlanta might have been a little different, we had some things happen. [Nnamdi], he's a good football player, and what a professional. There's still some things that we'll show as the season goes on with him."

On how Asomugha is adjusting to zone coverages: "Well, you know what, he did play zone coverages in Oakland. There were more zone coverages than you think, in Oakland. He's playing man here too. In our three-deep, it's called zone coverage, but basically our corners are man to man, you know, that's the way we've done it here with [late Defensive Coordinator] Jim [Johnson], with our three-deep deal."

On whether Asomugha could cover the tight end: "I think that's something that we'll see on Sunday. We'll see how we're going to use our different packages."

On the challenge San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis poses: "He's fast, he's got good hands, he runs good routes, and they use him in that way, they use him as a third wide receiver. So he's very explosive."

On how much of a critical situation this is for the defense after the last two weeks: "It's very important for us to win, that's the bottom line, and we have to do our job and that's the way we're looking at it. We're talking about playing four quarters, and winning the game. That's very important for all of us."

On what can you do to work on closing out games in the fourth quarter: "Part of that is, you see the way we practice, we practice fast. That's important to make sure that Wednesdays and Thursdays are fast practices, and then I've got to do a better job of putting my guys in position to make plays."

On whether he needs to see more physicality out of his defense: "When you go through being physical, I think when you look at it, and you talk about the run game, again, we had a couple plays where gap responsibility more than them not being physical. Because when you look at it and you put clips together, you see that our guys are physical, and I don't think anybody could go up to them and say 'you're not a physical group.' They are a physical group. The thing is we have to continue to make sure that we get in the proper gaps. When we get in the proper gaps, you know, people will not run the football, they don't run the football on us, that's the key."

On whether the linebacker shuffle is more personal for him because he is a former linebacker: "The thing that you have to understand is we're teachers, we're coaches. I know this with the whole group is when you work fundamentals, and you do them over and over and over, it becomes natural. It doesn't matter who it is. You go back to when I coached the offensive line, there were some college free agents that ended up playing and starting for a long time that nobody thought they could play. But what it was, is that they had athletic ability, they had desire, and then they were developed. That's the same thing that's going to happen with our linebackers. They're athletic, they're tough, they're physical, they're just young, and they just need to be developed, and the thing is we're doing the correct fundamentals and they'll get better and better and better."

On how the adversity he has gone through so far will serve him and the defense moving forward: "We talk about, we're here in Philadelphia, here to win, you know. We've lost two games, that hurts, that hurts, that's why you work your butt off and that's why all our guys are working their butts off because, you know what, we don't want to lose. We don't want to lose for the fans, we don't want to lose for our owner, and the guys. There's nobody in that room who wants to lose. It hurts. I mean, right now, it hurts. So what do you do about it? You work harder, man, you stay up longer, you fight, you compete, and then you look forward to Sunday so you can get that W. That's what you do. That's what real men do, that's what our guys are, and that's what we're going to do." 

On whether there is anything he can do to improve Sunday's poor tackling: "You see that we work the tackle circuit. The important part is making sure that when we're doing that circuit that everybody is doing it full speed. Make sure that we're coaching it properly. And again, you go back to that same thing that, you know what, you're addressing it, you're working it fundamentally, now we have to make sure that it's being coached properly when we're working the drills and then we have to make sure that when the guys are doing the tackling during that circuit, that it's being done at a full speed level to make sure that it carries over."

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