Reid: Feelings for Juan not 'new news'
There are still two games to play, and the Eagles still have what has increasingly become a legitimate shot at sneaking into the playoffs, so questions about the offseason aren't especially pertinent at this juncture.
But after the Eagles won their last two games, largely behind the effort of their defense, many want to know: Has Juan Castillo reversed his prospects and done enough to return next season as defensive coordinator?
Eagles coach Andy Reid, a day after the Eagles stomped on the New York Jets, 45-19, was asked if he believed Castillo, with a full offseason, would mature into the coordinator he originally envisioned.
"I think everybody is getting better every week, that's what I think. That's where I'm at," Reid said. "You guys all know how I feel about Juan. I don't think that's new news."
Still, there had been a report two weeks ago that Reid was going to have to fire Castillo if he wanted to save his job. So it may not matter how Reid feels if Castillo is to return for a do-over. But what if that report had been premature and pure speculation?
Because Castillo's defense has turned things around -- well, at least for two games it has. And he has two more games to prove that he really has his unit playing at consistently high level.
Last week, the Eagles held Miami to 10 points, 204 total yards and forced three turnovers. On Sunday, the Jets offense scored 19 points -- mostly off turnovers -- managed only 241 yards and turned the ball over four times.
"From the players' standpoint, I think you're seeing consistency," Reid said. He added that Castillo is "playing to their strengths and covering whatever weaknesses they have."
It should be noted that Miami and New York don't have lethal offenses, but the results have been eye-opening. The execution has been sounder, the tackling crisper and the defense has been opportunistic.
Two weeks ago, the Eagles were last in red zone defense, allowing around a 72 percent success rate inside the 20. The Dolphins and Jets, though, scored touchdowns on only three of eight possessions in the red zone.
-- Reid said that cornerback Asante Samuel's hamstring strain "doesn't look like it's too bad." Samuel left in the second quarter.
-- Wide receiver DeSean Jackson has an elbow contusion, was sore on Monday but should be OK, Reid said.
-- Quarterback Michael Vick (ribs), wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) and tackle Todd Herremans (ankle) all "did well through the game," according to Reid.
-- Defensive end Darryl Tapp (rib) and defensive tackle Trevor Laws were improving, Reid said. Neither played against the Jets.