Like everyone, I was flabbergasted and dumbfounded the other day when I found out that Juan Castillo will be our new defensive coordinator. I wouldn't in my wildest imagination have thought that Andy would pull that kind of move (and if you did, please send me your lotto picks for the month).
Over the past few days I've read the usual of how things go. From extreme hatred in the beginning of the day, to gradual understanding and finally love for the move. Me, I'm more or less in the former part of that sentence. Not that I hate the move, but more of how it was done. Listen, I understand the respect for Reid and the trusting of his moves from extremely loyal fans (especially Joe_D), but whether or not you want to admit it, this is a hell of a reach. This is one of (if not the) biggest reach by Andy Reid possibly in his head coaching career.
Let me make something clear real quick. I'm not an old-fashioned thinker. I'm a production over potential guy. I don't believe just because a guy works harder than someone else, they deserve something over someone else. If someone is more talented than you in a field, it is what it is. For example, I'm in medical studies, there is a few guys who are in it as well who understand it and its comes more naturally to them than me. I work harder than them, but in the end if they know how to do things better than me, than that's how it is.
That's one of the few things I've never liked about Reid's decision making. Of course, I can't expect him to think like me.
What makes me the maddest about that, is Reid's stubbornness in those thoughts. Even before the Castillo move, Reid's always had this "Garden of Reid" thing about him where instead of taking initiative to go out and do something, he prefers to stay with what he's got. It seems like Reid is untrustworthy of those who don't have a deep understanding of how he does things (aka other coaches). Reid has always preferred to promote from within the ranks rather than go out and get something when it is a need. I can understand that in some cases, but this is not one. I have nothing against Castillo. I think he has done a great job with the O-Line (even though it was a problem last year). But the fact that he "works hard at what he does" and is the "first person there and last one to leave" blah blah blah......I'm sorry, but that just doesn't seem like enough for me. Juan may work hard, but the fact remains, he hasn't coached defense in 2 decades. And the defense that he did coach was not as of major prominence as a NFL defense.
What has me the most worry about this is not just the move, but the move that are to come. For one, I'm a firm believer now that Reid cannot promote from within the ranks on this one. Our secondary coach and LB coaches have to be great at what they do. He needs guys who understand defense in and out to give Castillo as much cushion as possible. In my opinion, he has to go out and get some coaches who are either on the rise, or have deep knowledge of what they are doing. He can't just plug in quality control guys in this occasion and call it a day or he will be setting Juan up for failure. The fact that he has Washburn taking care of his front-4 is great. That's one area of the defense I can rest assured about.
Not only does this affect who we have as coaches, but also if we plan to bring in any free agents. I believe, getting Asomugha just became that much harder. Money talks in the NFL, but you have to think that Nnamdi has heard about Juan (a former OL coach) getting the tag as defensive coordinator and look just as surprised as the rest of us. Or any other defensive free agents we might target. Reid and Castillo are going to have to do a salesman's job of convincing anyone that they target for the defensive side of the ball that Castillo can get it done. Simply saying Reid has made some crazy moves that has worked out is far from enough to convince a player that they should just trust what Reid does and come on board.
LIFE STATEMENT COMING UP: When every you interview for a job, you are interviewing the interviewer just as much as they are interviewing you.
Now I'm not trying to be pessimistic here (I'll leave that for MG77), but I will be surprised if this move works. Even if it does, I don't at all expect it to work immediately unless we land some top flight position coaches and top flight free agents. This is a move that could might take 2-5 years to finally start to come through, and that's if it even does. This is a move that could put Reid on the hot seat if it does turn out bad (Yes, believe it or not, decisions that you make can put your job on the line. Even someone as "invincible" as Reid. Personally, I think the Donovan McNabb trade, Kevin Kolb benching, and the firing of Sean McDermott have shown that the mighty law of Reid isn't as strong as it used to be especially with the suddenly powerful say of Howie Roseman over the last year).
I won't call this move until at least after this season. I won't say if it was good or bad, I won't hate it or love it, I won't criticize or praise it. That's how I choose to grade things. I gave Bradley a year, I gave McDermott a year, I gave Celek a year, Weaver, Hobbs, Patterson (but he killed his in a few games). So I will hold my judgement.
But........this is going to be hell of a year to see how this one works out. Let's see how it goes.