Juan Castillo says he doesn’t know if he has “ever been through anything so hard in my life” as the final weeks with the Philadelphia Eagles this past season when he was ultimately fired as defensive coordinator by longtime friend Andy Reid.
Castillo, hired as a consultant by the Baltimore Ravens, finds himself in Super Bowl XLVII and with an opportunity to finally reflect on what went awry. He served for about 1 ½ seasons as defensive coordinator after a long run as offensive line coach. It didn’t go well but the defense was even worse under Todd Bowles after Castillo was fired in-season.
“Part of that is just that you keep going back and forth, 'What could I have done better,' things like that,” Castillo said, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News. “I think what was awesome was the response from different coaches . . . 'til that happens to you, you don't really know what kind of reputation you have, what people really think of your body of work."
Castillo had an opportunity to go with Reid to the Kansas City Chiefs as an assistant head coach. He chose to take the offer from John Harbaugh in Baltimore.
"He offered me assistant head coach. I think it's just better for me and coach" to be in different situations right now, Castillo said. "One day I'll come back to him. Coach and I are good friends."
That decision by Castillo makes a lot of sense. There’s no reason to give onlookers something to pick apart from the outset in Kansas City. Both men needed a fresh start. Castillo also downplayed a reported rift with defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who reportedly referred to him as “Juanita” in meetings.
"There's a lot of things in meetings, (people) play around . . . I'm not sure if 'jest' is the right word . . . sometimes you say things and you're just playing," Castillo said, according to Bowen. "I know this: When they left me go, all the d-linemen called me. I thought that I had that respect.
"I respect Jim as a coach, and I think he respects me as a coach."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune