Andy Reid spoke on his decision to fire long-time assistant Juan Castillo as the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Tuesday, making it clear that the team's middle-of-the-pack performance on defense was not what he was looking for.
Reid released a statement in the wake of Castillo's firing Tuesday morning, thanking the coach for his nearly two decades of service to the organization but pointing out that the defense needed improvement.
"I want to make it clear that I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Juan Castillo as a coach and as a person. He's one of the finest football coaches that I have ever worked with. He has served this organization extremely well for 18 years and letting him go was a difficult decision. I know he will continue to be a successful coach in this league and wish he and his family nothing but the best."
"We're six games into the season and average isn't good enough. I know the potential of our team and insist on maximizing it."
The Eagles have been slightly better than average under Castillo -- their 20.8 points allowed is 13th in the league; last year, they were 10th in the same category -- but the message that Reid feels the team can do better is clear.
Reid had worked alongside Castillo ever since coming to the Eagles as head coach in 1999, with Castillo outdating Reid with the organization, having worked with the team since 1995. Some said the coach was playing favorites by promoting his good friend from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator, a position he seemed unfit to perform. That certainly isn't the case with his decision to replace his colleague of more than a decade with Todd Bowles, who has been with the Eagles for less than a year.