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Juan Castillo Admits That Nnamdi Asomugha Is Human

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Obviously we have criticized Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo on a great number of things around here. Certainly the "wide nine" has gotten it's share of criticism, the fundamentals etc, but the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is how his defense seems to have marginalized one of the great defensive players in the game in Nnamdi Asomugha.

In Oakland, they basically used Nnamdi by pointing at the other teams' best WR and saying, "Play man to man and take him out of the game." And Nnamdi pretty much did that better than anyone. Prior to the season here however, Juan talked a lot about moving Nnamdi around and using him in a more "Charles Woodson" role. We've seen Nnamdi play more zone, take on TEs, play the slot, blitz etc. Today, Juan admitted that maybe that's not the best use of his talents.

"Really when he first came here, I thought, ‘Here's a guy who I can use like Charles Woodson. Here's somebody who can line up anywhere.' That's what we've been doing. You saw him last week on [TE] Vernon [Davis] and he did a good job. I probably could've put him on [TE] Tony [Gonzalez] with different situations, and those are some of the things that I want to be able to do with him. Bring him off the edge and do a lot of things with him. He's a special guy, but again, you talk about things that hurt. Those are packages that would have got a lot of reps in the offseason. I have to be careful with that because Nnamdi is human. He's a great person, but he's human. I have to do a better job handling him. I think what happens, too, with me is that I have to remember he's human."

Castillo says that it's not as though Nnamdi couldn't do those things, but without a real offseason to integrate him into the system, maybe he shouldn't have been asked to take on so much different stuff so soon.

What I'm talking about is that last week I had him in regular and in the nickel package playing against two tight ends and two wide receivers. I had him in a dime package. What I'm saying is that I gave him too much without having camp. Those are all packages that we would have worked on in camp. I wanted to shut down different guys and different personnel. I have to understand that we didn't have the camps and that he's human."

When Juan took over this job, his mantra seemed to be that he was going to simplify this defense. Well in this case, he clearly didn't follow that mantra.

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