A look at all the current DCs' past coaching history.

Alright, I would first like to say I was absolutely shocked to find out the news of Castillo being promoted to DC. I was at work and ESPN had the breaking news on the bottom. I laughed and said to myself, ESPN has lost it. Now, they're reporting a hoax as breaking news. I quickly double checked on BGN and whaddaya know? It's true. Andy Reid has done the unthinkable once again. I am neutral on this at this point. I know Juan is an extremely good coach and teacher, period. If somebody can pull off something like this, I believe he can. BUT, was there really no other option? Is he a better option than any of the assistants available? We will find out in 7 loooong months(yes, I believe there will be football next season. 

For this post, I decided to Wiki every single defensive coordinator that's currently hired or just fired by all 32 teams to see if any of them was previously an offensive coach. This will either make you more optimistic, more pessimistic or won't affect your thinking at all. My results after the jump....

I am going to list the teams by their draft order. (Quotes from Wikipedia) 

1. Carolina Panthers - Defensive Coordinator - Sean Mcdermott

McDermott originally joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1998 as a scouting administrative coordinator, a position he held until being promoted to assistant to the head coach in 1999. He then became defensive quality control coach and later assistant defensive backs coach. In 2003 he replaced Steve Spagnuolo as defensive backs coach, as Spagnuolo was assigned linebackers coach. 


In 2007, McDermott was assigned linebackers coach, after Spagnuolo had left to take the defensive coordinator job for the New York Giants. On January 28, 2008, Eagles head coach Andy Reid named McDermott secondary coach again.


On May 18, 2009, McDermott was named the interim defensive coordinator as a result of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's medical leave of absence. On July 24, 2009, due to the continuing decline of Johnson, the Eagles announced McDermott would take over as full time defensive coordinator.

RESULT: No, He was always a defensive coach. 


2. Denver Broncos - Defensive Coordinator - Dennis Allen 


Allen began his coaching career at his alma mater, serving as a graduate assistant coach under his old coach R. C. Slocum for four seasons (1996–1999), working primarily with the secondary. He then went on to Tulsa where he was a secondary coach for two seasons (2000–2001).

In 2002, Allen’s first year with the Falcons, when he assisted in coaching the defensive backfield, the club tied for third in the NFL with 24 interceptions and improved from 30th vs. the pass in 2001 to 16th the following year.

Over his last two years in Atlanta, the Falcons’ defensive line was the anchor of the defense. 

In 2006, Allen was in charge of the Saints' defensive line, who combined for over 290 tackles, 28.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. The season was highlighted by the Pro Bowl selection DE Will Smith.

Note by Route36: He went back to coaching the Saints secondary until being hired this year as the Broncos' DC. 

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 


3. Buffalo Bills - Defensive Coordinator - George Edwards

Edwards held the position of linebackers coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 1998 to 2001. Linebacker Dexter Coakley was selected to two Pro Bowls under Edwards tutelage and led the team in tackles all four seasons in that span.

In 2002, Edwards moved on to the Washington Redskins under the title of Assistant Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach. 

The following season, Edwards was promoted to the role of defensive coordinator. 

Edwards served as linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns for one season in 2004. After his stint in Cleveland, Edwards became linebackers coach of the Miami Dolphins under first-year head coach Nick Saban. He served in that capacity for five seasons and was one of only two members of the coaching staff retained after Cam Cameron was fired after the 2007 season. Edwards left Miami to become the University of Florida defensive coordinator. 4 weeks later, he left Florida and accepted a job as the Buffalo Bills Defensive Coordinator.

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 


4. Cincinnati Bengals - Defensive Coordinator - Mike Zimmer  

His first coaching job was as a part-time defensive assistant at the University of Missouri (1979–80). He then went to Weber State College, where he was the inside linebackers coach (1981–84), defensive backs coach (1985–88), and defensive coordinator (1983–88). He then went to Washington State University (1989–93) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach. 

He joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 as an assistant coach of the nickel defense under Barry Switzer. He was promoted to defensive backs coach (1995–99) before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2000. The 2003 Dallas Cowboys gave up the fewest yards in the NFL while running an aggressive speedy 4-3 defense. Despite the Cowboys' problems over the years, Zimmer has survived coaching changes (Switzer, Chan GaileyDave CampoBill Parcells) and rumored to have been a candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Nebraska (2003). For the 2005 season, he implemented the 3-4 defense favored by head coach Parcells, although Zimmer had no prior experience with it.

When Bobby Petrino was hired to coach the Atlanta Falcons early in 2007 NFL Season, Mike Zimmer agreed to become the new defensive coordinator in Atlanta.

On January 15, 2008 Mike became the Defensive Coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

5. Arizona Cardinals - No current defensive coordinator - Previous DC - Billy Davis


Davis began his football coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Michigan State Spartans

In 1992, Davis entered the NFL as the defensive assistant for the Pittsburgh Steelers. For most of his football career, Davis had played and coached on the offensive side of the ball, but under head coach Bill Cowher, Davis coached the Pittsburgh defense for three years.

In 1995, under coach Dom Capers, Davis spent four years with the newly created Carolina Panthers

In 1999, Davis spent a year as a defensive assistant and linebackers coach with the Cleveland Browns.[1]

In 2000, Davis went the Green Bay Packers were he spent the year as a defensive assistant and line coach.

Davis the went to the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, were he spent the next three seasons as the linebackers coach under Dan Reeves. Davis helped then defensive coordinator Wade Phillips implement his new 3-4 defense

Davis was the New York Giants linebackers coach in 2004. According to defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, Billy commanded the room whenever speaking to players and compiled blitz packages, a job usually done by the defensive coordinator.

On February 6, 2005, Billy Davis was hired by San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan to be the defensive coordinator on the team after a six hour interview.

As soon as early November, rumors began to swirl that Davis could be fired at the end of the season, if not earlier.

On January 19, 2007, just 15 days after he was fired from the 49ers, Davis was hired as the linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals.[1] On February 18, 2009, Davis was named the team's defensive coordinator after former defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast was fired.

On January 31, 2011 it was announced that Davis was hired as the linebackers coach.


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

6. Cleveland Browns - Defensive Coordinator - Dick Jauron


Jauron began his coaching career in the NFL in 1985 as the Buffalo Bills defensive backs coach. 

After one season with the Bills, Jauron was named the defensive backs coach for the Green Bay Packers

Jauron became the defensive coordinator for the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 at the invitation of then-Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin, whom he coached with at Green Bay. 

Following his first head-coaching job, Jauron served as the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions in 2004 and the first 11 games of the 2005 season before being named the team's interim head coach.

Jauron became the 12th head coach in Chicago Bears history on January 23, 1999, when he was hired to replace Dave Wannstedt, who was fired after two consecutive 4–12 seasons. 

 He was fired by the Bears after the 2003 season and replaced by current head coach Lovie Smith.

Jauron was then hired by the Detroit Lions as a defensive coordinator.

Jauron was named the 14th head coach in Buffalo Bills history on January 23, 2006, following the resignation of Mike Mularkey.

On November 17, 2009, Jauron was relieved of his coaching duties by the Buffalo Bills as announced by owner Ralph Wilson.

On February 2, 2010, Jauron was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles as a senior assistant and defensive backs coach.

On January 21, 2011, Jauron was named Defensive Coordinator by the Cleveland Browns. He replaced Rob Ryan, who is now the Defensive Coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

7. San Francisco 49ers - Defensive Coordinator - Vic Fangio 

This is all they had for him...

He is the current defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers. Prior to being named the the 49ers Defensive Coordinator, Fangio was defensive coordinator for the Stanford Cardinallinebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens and defensive coordinator for the Houston TexansIndianapolis Colts, and Carolina Panthers.

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

8. Tennessee Titans - No current defensive coordinator - Previous coordinator - Chuck Cecil


In 2001 Cecil accepted a coaching position for the Tennessee Titans under Jeff Fisher, for whom he had played in his final season (when the team was the Houston Oilers). Cecil served as a defensive quality control assistant for three seasons. He was promoted in 2004, to work with the safeties and nickel backs. His responsibilities expanded in 2007 to cover all of the defensive backs.

On February 12, 2009, Cecil was named the Titan's defensive coordinator, replacing the departed Jim Schwartz, who had taken the position of Head Coach for the Detroit Lions.[8]

On October 3, 2010, during a game against the Denver Broncos, Cecil gave NFL officials the middle-finger gesture in an attempt to protest a neutral zone infraction call against one of his players. Live close-up video of Cecil was being aired at the time, and the gesture was broadcast without editing. For his inappropriate action, he was fined $40,000 by the league.

On January 20, 2011, it was announced that Cecil would not be retained as the Titans' defensive coordinator


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

9. Dallas Cowboys - Defensive Coordinator - Rob Ryan


Ryan was a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky in 1987 and at Ohio State in 1988. Ryan then spent 5 seasons at Tennessee State, where he coached running backs (1989–91), wide receivers(1992) and the defensive line (1993). He served as defensive coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in 1996, where they led the nation in total defense (228 yards per game) and in sacks (56). Ryan originally entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1994 as defensive backs coach on his father's staff at Arizona Cardinals. He also coached Cardinals cornerbacks and safeties in 1995.From 1997–99, Ryan was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, where the Cowboys defense continually ranked among the best in the nation, also he was named Coordinator of the Year by The Sporting News in 1997.

In 2003, Ryan's squad helped the New England Patriots defense rank first in the NFL in fewest points allowed 238 while ranking seventh overall in the NFL in total defense. 

In 2006, the Oakland Raiders ranked 3rd in overall defense.

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini named Ryan as his defensive coordinator on January 14, 2009

He was officially named the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator on January 19th, 2011. 


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

10. Washington Redskins - Defensive Coordinator - Jim Haslett


Haslett's first coaching position was as an assistant coach at the University at Buffalo

Haslett began his NFL coaching career as a linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Raiders in 1993. Haslett next coached linebackers for the New Orleans Saints in 1995 and was promoted to defensive coordinator for the 1996 season. Haslett then coordinated the Pittsburgh Steelers defense for the 1997 through 1999 seasons.

In January 2000, Haslett was named head coach of the New Orleans Saints

Haslett was fired after the close of the 2005 season.

Haslett became the St. Louis Rams' defensive coordinator to start the 2006 season. On September 29, 2008 Haslett was named the interim head coach of the Rams after Scott Linehan was fired. 

Haslett coached the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League during its inaugural season in 2009.[3] The team went 6-0 but were upset in the first-ever UFL Championship Game by the Las Vegas Locomotives.

Haslett was hired as the Washington Redskins defensive coordinator on January 12, 2010 under head coach Mike Shanahan. Haslett replaced the retiring Greg Blache.


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

11. Houston Texans - Defensive Coordinator - Wade Phillips


Phillips began his coaching career as graduate assistant to Bill Yeoman at the University of Houston in 1969. From 1970–72 he served as defensive coordinator at West Orange-Stark High School in Orange, Texas. He then coached the linebackersat Oklahoma State University from 1973–1974, under his father who was OSU defensive coordinator at that time. In 1975, Phillips coached the defensive line at the University of Kansas.

Phillips began his professional coaching career in Houston as the linebackers coach in 1976 for the team coached by his father, as well as defensive line coach in 1977–1980.  He spent the next three years as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles and then four more in the same position for the Denver Broncos. Phillips replaced Dan Reeves as head coach for the Broncos in 1993, but was fired after a mediocre 1994 season in which management felt he lost control of the team.

The most successful coaching stop for Phillips was at Buffalo.

On February 8, 2007, he was named the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, replacing the retired Bill Parcells

Prior to the 2009 season, Phillips also took over as defensive coordinator, replacing the fired Brian Stewart. Phillips called defensive plays for the final 10 games of the 2008 season after Stewart was stripped of the responsibilities.

On January 5, 2011, Phillips was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans replacing Frank Bush, who was terminated by Texans owner Bob McNair.


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

12. Minnesota Vikings - No current defensive coordinator - Previous coordinator - Leslie Frazier


Frazier started his coaching career in 1988 as the first head coach at Trinity College in Illinois, now known as Trinity International University. He held the position for nine seasons, built the NAIA program from the ground up and won a pair of Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference titles before he moved on to the University of Illinois in 1997 as the Illinois defensive back's coach.

In 1999 Frazier joined first time Head Coach Andy Reid as Defensive Backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles

He was defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003-2004 where he helped turn the unit into a group that increased takeaways from 24 in 2003 to 36 in 2004. 

In 2005, Frazier was hired by Tony Dungy as a defensive assistant for the Indianapolis Colts, receiving the title of Special Assistant to the Head Coach as well as Defensive Backs Coach. On February 8, 2007, he became the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings following the hiring of Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin by the Pittsburgh Steelers as their head coach.

On November 22, 2010, the Vikings fired head coach Brad Childress and named Frazier the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2010 season.

On January 3, 2011, the Vikings and Leslie Frazier reached an agreement making him the permanent head coach.


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

13. Detroit Lions - Defensive Coordinator - Gunther Cunningham 


Cunningham has presided over some of the most successful defenses in NFL history (1995 & 1997), typically ranking at the top of the league in many statistical categories.

He attended the University of Oregon, where he played linebacker and placekicker before embarking on a coaching career that has now spanned almost forty years. In 1995, Cunningham was hired by the Chiefs as the defensive coordinator after spending the previous four seasons as a coach with the Los Angeles Raiders.

After the Chiefs missed the playoffs in 1998, head coach Marty Schottenheimer resigned, opening the door for Cunningham's promotion to the head coach position. After finishing two seasons with a .500 win percentage, Cunningham was fired and replaced by Dick Vermeil.  Cunningham went on to become a successful linebackers coach for the Tennessee Titans. Cunningham was hired again to revitalize a defense that had finished near or at the bottom of the overall rankings since Schottenheimer and Cunningham departed.

For the 2008 season, Cunningham coached the Chiefs' linebackers as well as serving as the defensive coordinator.

Cunningham was hired as the Detroit Lions defensive coordinator on January 21, 2009, about a week after the Lions hired new head coach Jim Schwartz, who he worked with on the Titans from 2001-2003.

 RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

14. St. Louis Rams - Defensive Coordinator - Ken Flajole


He is the current defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams.

He served as linebackers coach for the Carolina Panthers, where he has spent the past six seasons. Flajole replaced Sal Sunseri as defensive assistant in 2003, bringing with him five years of NFL coaching experience. He spent three seasons as defensive backs coach and one as linebackers coach with the Seattle Seahawks from 1999-02 and one as a defensive assistant with the Green Bay Packers in 1998. As defensive backs coach for Seattle in 1999, Flajole's secondary led the NFL with 30 interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns. He spent the 2000 campaign as the Seahawks linebackers coach and returned to oversee the defensive backs in 2001 and 2002.

Before entering the NFL as a defensive quality control assistant with Green Bay in 1998, Flajole spent 21 years coaching in the college ranks. He served as Nevada's co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach for two seasons from 1996-97. His 1996 defense finished first in the conference in total defense, scoring defense and passing defense. Prior to his duties at Nevada, Flajole held coaching positions at several other universities, beginning with his alma mater, Pacific Lutheran, from 1977-78, and then Washington in 1979. Other stops included Montana from 1980-85, Texas-El Paso from 1986-88, Missouri from 1989-93, Richmond in 1994 and Hawaii in 1995, holding defensive coordinator positions at Montana and Richmond.


RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 


15. Miami Dolphins - Defensive Coordinator - Mike Nolan

He has coached at the collegiate level at Stanford UniversityRice University, and LSU before moving on to the National Football League.

The son of former San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints head coach, Dick Nolan, he signed with the 49ers in 2005 to be head coach, following in his father's footsteps. Nolan joined San Francisco after establishing himself as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, a position he held with three other teams: New York Jets (2000), Washington Redskins (1997–99), and New York Giants (1993–96).

In early 2009 Mike Nolan became the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos under Josh McDaniels. With a new 3-4 defense the Denver Broncos gave up the fewest points in the NFL (66) during the first six games of the season, and made their way to their first 6-0 start since the 1998 season in which they won Super Bowl XXXIII. The Broncos went 2 and 8 the rest of the way, and missed the playoffs. On January 18, 2010 Mike Nolan and Josh McDaniels mutually decided Nolan would resign as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.[1]

On January 19, 2010, Nolan was hired by the Miami Dolphins as Defensive Coordinator.

Mike Nolan has been linked to more than one coaching tree. He was a defensive coordinator for Brian Billick (who is part of the Sid Gillman/Bill Walsh coaching tree), Al Groh (who is part of the Bill Parcells coaching tree), and Norv Turner (part of theJimmy Johnson tree). However, Nolan is most directly related to Dan Reeves. Reeves brought Nolan with him from Denver (where he was linebackers coach) to be the New York Giants defensive coordinator in 1993. Nolan excelled at the position and his success served as a springboard for later success with other teams.

Note by Route36: He was also the Ravens wide receivers coach in addition to being their DC in 2001. 

RESULT: Other than that, he was always a defensive coach. 

16. Jacksonville Jaguars - Defensive Coordinator - Mel Tucker

Tucker previously served with the Browns as the team's defensive backs coach[2] before being named the team's defensive coordinator following the firing of Todd Grantham.[3] Following the firing of Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, Tucker was replaced by Rob Ryan.

RESULT: That's all they had so I'm guessing he was always a defensive coach. 


At this point, I realized this post is going to be waaaaay too long(and already took 1.5 hours) if I continue block quoting this way so I'm just going to post the result and you're going to have to take my word for it or Wiki it yourself. 

17. Oakland Raiders - Defensive Coordinator - Previous DC - John Marshall

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

18. San Diego Chargers - Defensive Coordinator - Greg Manusky 

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach

19. New York Giants - Defensive Coordinator - Perry Fewell

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Defensive Coordinator - Raheem Morris

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

21. Kansas City Chiefs - Defensive Coordinator - Romeo Crennel

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

22. Indianapolis Colts - Defensive Coordinator - Larry Coyer 

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach

23. Philadelphia Eagles - Defensive Coordinator - Juan Castillo 

RESULT: Yes, he was always an offensive coach. Haha, just for kicks. 

24. New Orleans Saints - Defensive Coordinator - Gregg Williams 

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

25. Seattle Seahawks - Defensive Coordinator - Casey "Gus" Bradley

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

26. Baltimore Ravens - Defensive Coordinator - Chuck Pagano

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

27. Atlanta Falcons - Defensive Coordinator - Brian VanGorder

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

28. New England Patriots - Defensive Coordinator - Bill Belichick

RESULT: Other than being a wide receivers and tight end coach for 1 year with the Lions in 1977, he has always been a defensive coach. 

29. Chicago Bears - Defensive Coordinator - Rod Marinelli 

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

30. New York Jets - Defensive Coordinator - Mike Pettine

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

31/32. Pittsburgh Steelers - Defensive Coordinator - Dick Lebeau

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 

31/32. Green Bay Packers - Defensive Coordinator - Dom Capers

RESULT: No, he was always a defensive coach. 


So as you can see, we have every right to be concerned. Someone who has been an offensive coach most of their careers has NEVER switched over to the defense. Only Bill Belichick and Mike Nolan has done some offensive coaching for ONE year, that's it. The odds are very against Castillo. Jim Washburn will have a LOT to do with our defense next season so I'm not toooo worried but I can't say I'm optimistic. 






Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bleeding Green Nation

You must be a member of Bleeding Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleeding Green Nation. You should read them.

Join Bleeding Green Nation

You must be a member of Bleeding Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleeding Green Nation. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.