Andy Reid's Press Conference Following Firing Of Castillo

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Several people that are at work today were interested in what Andy Reid said at his press conference today. So here is the transcript.


"Okay, I made a change at defensive coordinator. Released Juan Castillo and am putting Todd Bowles into place as the defensive coordinator. Moving him from the secondary position. I mentioned it yesterday that I'm starting with myself and I've done that and I'm going through and evaluating our football team, both coaches and players. So, this is one of the moves and we'll see where this goes from here. But I think we all know how much I care about Juan Castillo as a person and as a football coach. I think he's a good football coach, tremendous football coach, tough worker; has a great family. I know that he's going to continue to do great things in the National Football League. However, I also have always said that I'm going to do what I think is best for the Philadelphia Eagles and at this time, I think this move is the best. 3-3, obviously, puts you as an average football team and right now, I think we're better than that. I'm going to do what I think is right to make us better and at this particular time, this is what I feel. I'll continue to go through and evaluate all the situations and, again, I think that's very important that I do so."

On what he found when he evaluated himself:

"Listen, I think I can obviously do better. I think, collectively, we all can do better, but I surely can do a better job myself. I put Juan in this situation and things didn't work out the way I had hoped as it finishes up. I take full responsibility for that. I take full responsibility for putting him in that situation. On the other hand of that, if I don't think things are working for the best for the organization at that particular time, I've got to be responsible for that too. I've mentioned that to you before on certain players that we've brought here that I've been responsible for bringing here and drafted with high picks. I feel the same way here."

On how difficult the conversation with Castillo was, personally:

"Well, it wasn't a phone call. I made sure I talked to Juan. Listen, it's tough. One of the tougher things I've had to do, I would tell you that, as a head football coach. But I thought it was important that I talked to him and was upfront with him about the situation."

On whether keeping Castillo on in a reduced role was considered:

"I don't think that's fair to Juan. I wouldn't do that to him and he understands that. But I just don't think that's the right way to go."

On whether he had doubts during the offseason that Castillo would work out as the defensive coordinator:

"I thought we were making progress. I saw us making progress. We made progress through the last four games. I kind of liked the direction that we were going. I thought we started off pretty good and then I started seeing some trends come back that I wasn't real happy about and so I just wanted to make sure that we took care of those. I'm not going to go into detail. There were just things that I saw that I didn't want to go in that direction. Tough call."

On whether this was his decision and his decision alone:

"This is my decision and my decision alone."

On why there was a dramatic change made on defense rather than with the struggling offense:

"Please understand this: please understand that offense, defense and special teams right now, we need to get better. I'm going to continue to work through that and it's my responsibility to do that. I'm just bringing this to you because this is what's happened so far. I'm not going to tell you anything's going to happen past this or that it will happen; I'm not telling you that. But this is what's happened so far. I told you I'd be upfront with you. I'm upfront with you here making sure that you understand."

On how much players questioning Castillo played into this decision:

"Because we all have a responsibility, the players included, of doing better, I didn't go to the players with this. That's not what I did and I didn't take that into consideration. [CB Nnamdi Asomugha] told me what he really meant by [his comments after the game] and explained that before this ever took place. I appreciated that, but he was in favor of what we did and he liked it. That's not where I went. This was something that I felt I needed to do; what I think was best for the organization at this particular time and that's exactly how I went about doing this."

On whether he is leaning towards making other personnel moves:

"No. Listen, I'm going through the process is what I'm doing. You asked me yesterday if, at this time, I had made any moves or was going to make any moves. Well, at that particular time, I had not made any moves. I haven't made any moves other than this. I'm telling you upfront that this is what I've done to this point. Am I still evaluating? I'm still evaluating."

On whether he has evaluated the other coordinators:

"I'm still evaluating. I'm going through everything."

On what he believes was not done well enough on the defensive side of the ball:

"I'm not going to get into specifics. It was how I felt at this particular time; the things that I think that we need to go forward doing. I just wasn't feeling right now. This was my decision and my feel and so on, so I've got to trust my instincts on it, as hard as it is. I've got to make sure I do that and that's what it's based on."

On why he feels confident that Bowles can call a game defensively:

"Well, I've been around him now. I hadn't before. When I tried to interview him before to be a coordinator here, I had heard great things about him. Then, I had a chance to interview him and now I've had a chance to be around him and I think he can do that. I like the way he worked with Juan. He handled that the right way. He didn't try to come in and cut Juan's legs out from under him or any of that. He came in and worked with him and they had a good working relationship. I appreciated the way he went about his business and how he handled the other coaches and the players. I think the people that have worked with him surely have had a lot of confidence in him and there are some that have been very close to me and so I put a little trust in that."

On how much of a role Bowles had in developing the game plan prior to his promotion:

"Well, all the coaches have a phase of the game plan they do. That's what they do, so he had his phase and he dealt with that. He and Juan had open communication, which was a good thing."

On whether Bowles had more say in developing the game plan that most secondary coaches:

"I think there was a certain respect there. I don't want to take that away from him, that he had, that people listened to in the room. He did what our other secondary coaches have done as far as their responsibility for ‘X' part of the game plan."

On whether he consulted with any of the coaches before making the decision:

"No. I didn't talk to coaches, I didn't talk to players, and I didn't talk to [the] front office. I didn't talk to anybody. I made a decision, and then I went from there, and I talked to [Chairman/CEO] Jeffrey [Lurie]. That's where I went. There was no one else involved, let me make that clear for you. Just like I know things were presented before this year that I had to get rid of Juan prior to the season. Obviously, that's not the way we operate here. That's not the way Jeffrey operates or the way that he goes about his business. That's not the way that Joe [Banner] operated when he was here. That's now how it goes."

On whether he has plans to bring in another coach:

"Right now, I think I'm just going to stick with the staff that I have. [Defensive quality control coach] Bobby April III has a secondary background so he can help out and has already been helping out there. He can cover any base that needs to be covered."

On what he would like to see from the defense going forward with Bowles as the coordinator:

"I'll tell you the same thing - aggressive, emotional football. I expect one thing from our football team - that you play four quarters and that you never let your foot off the pedal, man. It's all out for four quarters. I'm talking about all three phases of the game. We're not doing well enough at it yet, and that is my problem and that's my fault."

On why it has been so hard to find a long-term solution at defensive coordinator since Jim Johnson passed away:

"It's big shoes. You have to remember that when we first got here, expectations weren't as high as what they were after you win games. That puts a tremendous amount of pressure on that person that you put in that position. There is not a lot of wiggle room, as you'd say. When you come in here, you have to handle a whole lot of pressures not only from the media, the city and the fans, and the players, but you're expected to perform at a very high level. That's an important part of it to look at, and it's important for me to make sure that I have a clear vision of that as I evaluate the people that I bring in."

On why the defense has changed its approach despite the successes they had when they were more aggressive and blitzed more under Johnson:

"A little bit of it is scheme. When you develop the wide-nine, you're giving up a couple of things to get a whole lot, in theory. That puts your guys in a pass rush situation the whole time because you're moving off of people's bodies to given them the opportunity to rush the passer. With that, if you add in the blitz - also, with Jim you would think by the way people talk is that he blitzed every down, and that's not what he did. He blitzed a very low percentage of the time, but he blitzed at opportune times. It's how you utilize the blitz within that scheme. We can do a better job in that area. That's what we'll try to do."

On whether Reid did not see the meshing of the defensive line with the rest of the defense that he envisioned:

"I want a strong philosophy on both lines. That's what I want. Right now, we can play better at both spots. We're not playing well enough at both spots. As coaches, we have to take that responsibility to make sure that we are putting guys in the right position to do their job to the best of their ability. You're not going to win a lot of football games unless those positions right there play well."

On what Reid thinks the players will make of the decision and what message it sends to them:

"I addressed the team yesterday, and then I followed up and addressed my staff after that. Then, I talked to a number of them individually. I was very forward with the players. I'm going to look in the mirror first and say, ‘Listen, I understand how it goes.' Then, I'm going to make sure that I look at every coach and every player and make sure that is right."

On whether this can be seen as a desperation move:

"The thing I can tell you, and I understand that completely, but I have to do what I think is right. I've always tried to stick with that. Whether it was with public opinion or against public opinion, I tried to do what I thought was right and the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles and the best opportunity it gives us to win football games. I'm going to continue to do that. That's how I felt about this situation."

On how Bowles will be able to help the Eagles fix the defensive scheme and pass rushing problems:

"When you start getting into scheme things, I can't give you the information on specifics. We're getting ready to play a team in a week here. There are certain things that we can do to help each other out at all positions, and that's what makes this the greatest team sport there is. We have to help as coaches - I know it comes off as if I'm just saying - we've got to make sure that we're putting the guys in the right positions, at all the positions, to make sure everyone the opportunity to do the best at their spots and win the football game. When you ask me that question, there are certain things we can do. We have to make sure that we find that and get it taken care of, and then utilize that during the game."

On what has impressed Bowles most so far while he was here as the secondary coach:

"He has a good understanding of the game, not only the secondary but the whole picture. He gets it and he understands how to tie it all together. He's detailed with his techniques. He relates well with the players. He's a smart guy and he works hard. Those are normally good qualities to have."

On whether Reid is going to take a more active role in the defensive meetings:

"I've always tried to stay on top of all three phases, and I can do a better job of that. I can do a lot better job in all three of those areas. At the same time, I want to make sure I give my guys that are in there the opportunity to let their personalities show within their group. It's important that happens, and that's why you are the coordinator at that position. Likewise in your position group, everyone has to be on the same page and doing the right things. There's a general philosophy that I want to establish and I want it done the way I want it done. I also want their personalities to show with it."

On whether the wide-nine will continue to be run the same way under Bowles:

"I still think it's a viable defensive line scheme. I think that there are certain things that you can do in it and you have to utilize certain things in it to make it better. That's what we'll attempt to do."

On whether there will be a transition period for Bowles like there was under Castillo:

"I don't think there will be a transition period. I'm not looking at that as I'm making this move. He understands it and knows it. I'm not looking for transition periods right now. I'm looking for him to step in and do his job to the best of his ability with the players that he has. I think he has good football players and good coaches around him. I expect us to do better."

On whether Bowles will have a chance to work on things before the team returns on Monday:

"Right now they're doing all their meetings and self scouts and that right now, which is important right now. The scheme is not going to change. The terminology isn't going to change but how we work within that is how you do that."

On whether QB Michael Vick will still be the team's starting quarterback:

"As I sit here today he's the starting quarterback."

On whether he is still evaluating the quarterbacks:

"Listen, I'm going through and I'm evaluating everything. I'm looking at everything. Everybody and everything."

On whether it is fair to say that starting players are in jeopardy of losing their jobs as well:

"All I can tell you today is what I've got done today. That's all I can do and you can take that however you [want]. I'm trying to give you as much as I can give you at the time. I'm coming forward to you with this and as quickly as I possibly could to make sure I stand up here and tell you as opposed to putting out just a press release and going the opposite direction. So I want to make sure you know, the fans know, and I owe that to you guys, I owe it to them. I know everyone has an opinion. I understand. I've got it. I'm going to take it one day at a time here."

On whether dismissing Castillo will have a negative effect on their personal relationship:

"No I don't [think so]. My respect for him is as high as ever. I think the world of him. I feel full responsibility for putting him in this position. I know the kind of person he is. I know that he cares for me likewise. But again, in these types of situations, he understands that you've got to put those things aside. I've got to be as real as I possibly can. I'm dealing with a lot of men in here. And I'm dealing with an organization, a city, and you guys are all part of that so I try to be as real as I can and as honest as I can with it."

On who makes the decision about how much the wide-9 will be used going forward:

"Todd and I are going to communicate but I take full responsibility for it. That's what I do. I'm the one who brought the wide-9 here for a reason. Todd will obviously have a big influence on that. That's his job right now."

On whether this move will change his approach to making future out-of-the-box moves:

"I'm always going to trust myself. I understand that not every [decision] is going to work. I understand that. I admit that but I'm also going to tell you that I think [a] percentage of them, they do work. That's my job and supposedly an expert at that. I make [decisions] and you've got to trust your instincts and go with it. That's what you do and sometimes the risk is going work out and work out for you in a big way. Sometimes it ends like this here. That's doesn't take anything away from Juan as a football coach. He's one of the best football coaches I've ever been around."

On whether he understands that by saying things are the same "right now" there will be speculation about others who may lose their jobs:

"I'm just telling the truth to you. That's what I'm saying to you. Right now Michael Vick is the starting quarterback. I've told you that I'm going through and I'm evaluating. I told it to you yesterday, I'm telling it to you today, and I'm trying to be real with you. I'll continue to evaluate myself. I'll continue to do things that I think are right for this organization."

On how much not having a significant amount of sacks or turnovers affected his decision making:

"It's not one thing. We can point out one thing here but it's not one thing. I try to evaluate it all. It takes time."

On whether he is fighting to save his job:

"You ask any head football coach in the National Football League and they're going to tell you that's what you do. You fight to win football games as a football team. You try to make your football team the best possible football team they can be. You try to better yourself every day. You want your coaches to better themselves every day. You want your players to do it and you hope you have an influence on helping them become the best they can be. That's my job and that's how I go about doing it."

On whether he looks at the schedule as a 10-game audition to keep his job:

"That's not how I go about [my business]. I do what I think is best for the Philadelphia Eagles, cut and dry. I think if you get it past that then you're going to do things that are [not right]

On whether he has an extra sense of urgency to perform well due to Jeffrey Lurie's comments during the preseason:

"No. I want to be the best football team we possibly can be. Right now we're sitting here at 3-3. That's not good enough for what I think we have here. It's not good enough. Now we happen to have a bye right here, so I have a period of time here to make sure I evaluate it and try to make it as right as I possibly can. And then I don't care about anything else. That's what I want to do. I want to make sure that gets done. I'm not going to lose focus on that."

On whether he thought about making a move before or whether his evaluation since Sunday's game led him to make a move:

"It's what I thought yesterday was the best thing as I went through it and evaluated it. You always want to step back and make sure you get all of the information."

On whether he wanted Bowles' presence on the coaching staff this year in case a situation like this occurred:

"No, that's not why I brought Todd here. I told you why I brought him here. I thought we needed another communicator for Juan. Somebody that he could talk to, somebody with experience. That's why we brought him here."

On whether too many changes will harm the team's continuity:

"Listen, I've got to use my experience and instincts on that. That's what I have to do. So I think I'm making this move because I think this is the right move. Time tells you that."

On what can be done to change the team's offensive woes:

"We've got to get better. We're going through that and looking at all that. But there's things we can do better there. Absolutely do better."

On how the evaluations will change due to the fact that Vick has committed 13 of the team's 17 turnovers this season:

"I'm [going] to look at all the turnovers. I'm going through them and analyzing that. That's what we're doing right now."

On whether there is a chance that the team will make a trade now that the trade deadline is later than in years past:

"[General manager] Howie [Roseman] keeps his eyes open on that. Every day we go over that. We go over our personnel and whatever is available either on other teams through trades or guys that get cut."

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