This week, the Philadelphia Eagles fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo after six games. Castillo was never really seen as a true defensive coordinator to be honest due to his time as an offensive line coach, but nevertheless was made the scapegoat as the Eagles continue to slide.
Never mind the fact that Michael Vick has turned the ball over 17 times in six games, so clearly firing the defensive coordinator was the answer. Well, maybe it was. The Eagles recorded ZERO sacks in the last three games and gave up two straight 4th quarter leads as well.
Wait a minute, what was that last line? “Gave up two straight 4th quarter leads.” Does this sound familiar Steelers’ fans? It should because Dick LeBeau and the Steelers’ defense has given up leads twice in the fourth quarter this season as well and we’ve only played five games. LeBeau of course is in no way going to be fired during the season and will probably have to pushed out the door in the offseason if at all.
This is a clear sign of the differences between how franchises in the NFL are run. Juan Castillo should probably have never been put in the DC position in the first place so it really isn’t a surprise that he is out of a job. Keep in mind the Eagles are a top 15 defense in the league. For LeBeau, his defense has given up 34, 31, and 26 in three losses yet the defense remains near the top in overall defense. Factor in sack totals and the complete lack of interceptions and turnovers in general and it really is a wonder how the Steelers’ defense is ranked as high as it is.
The Steelers in general have always been praised for how they run their organization and well they should. Three head coaches over forty plus years is truly remarkable. Thankfully, they have been more willing to part with assistant coaches more often when it was called for. LeBeau is a beloved figure in Pittsburgh and perhaps no coach is more respected by his players. While injuries have certainly been an issue for this team and especially the defense, they are not tolerated as an excuse.
I am in no way advocating LeBeau be removed as defensive coordinator at the moment, but unless I start seeing something resembling ‘Blitzburgh’ soon, I will be. This team has too much talent not to make the playoffs and while the Steelers may not be into finding scapegoats necessarily, the Eagles certainly have no problem with it.