Newly minted Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo had his first opportunity to coach in live game action in the first week of the pre-season against the Ravens, a 13-6 Eagles win.
In his debut as a coordinator Castillo’s top unit produced a sack by Trent Cole thanks to strong play along the defensive line and tight coverage in the secondary. Early indications are that this defense is going to rely on a rotation of lineman featuring Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Anthony Dixon and Juqua Parker as starters but heavy doses of Jason Babin and Anthony Hargrove as well. In the secondary Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel appear locked in as the starting corners and in Thursday’s opener were as effective as you would expect two All-Pro’s and two of the top ten corners in the league to be when paired together. The question mark is the corps of linebackers that is both unproven and, at least for the time being, vulnerable in coverage.
In week one of the pre-season numbers fall drastically short of telling the whole story, but Castillo’s top unit stood tall allowing only three points, 119 yards and holding the Ravens to 1-3 on third downs.
The earliest of indications are that Castillo not only has succeeded in camp at passing his passion, enthusiasm and work ethic on to this defense but he also passed the first of many tests when it comes to answering the biggest question mark; whether or not he can succeed in actually calling a game plan.