Eagles bypass Vikings' Woods; Castillo hired

The Eagles made an interesting in-house hire for their defensive coordinator, moving their offensive line coach to the other side of the ball, bypassing Vikings defensive backs coach Joe Woods, who interviewed for the job earlier this week.

Vikings defensive backs Joe Woods interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles' vacant defensive coordinator position, according to multiple reports, but Eagles decided to stay in-house for their new defensive coordinator, promoting longtime offensive line coach Juan Castillo to run the unit.

Castillo replaces Sean McDermott, who was fired the week after the end of the regular season.

While Castillo spent the past 13 years overseeing the Eagles' front five on offense, he comes from a defensive background. He was a linebacker at Texas A&I (1978-80) and for the San Antonio Gunslingers of the USFL from 1984-85.

He didn't move to the offensive side of the ball until 1990, when he took over as the offensive line coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville. He joined the Eagles' franchise in 1995 on Ray Rhodes' staff, and eventually took over as the offensive line coach in 1998. He was one of four coaches retained when Andy Reid succeeded Rhodes in 1999.

"Juan is one of the smartest and most dynamic coaches in the NFL," said Ron Rivera, the new Carolina Panthers head coach who was on the Eagles' staff with Castillo. "If anyone could cross over to the dark side (of defense), he's the guy.

"Seriously, if anyone can do it, Juan Castillo is able to do it. I don't know if I have seen anyone any more committed as a coach in this league than him. I was able to call on him so many times to understand how certain offenses worked and attacked. His knowledge of the game is very, very extensive and I consider him a mentor of mine in Philadelphia while I was working under Jim Johnson. He prides himself in his work ethic, which I know he got from his mother. More importantly, he's a dedicated father, husband and friend and just a top notch person."

To replace Castillo, the Eagles brought venerable offensive line coach Howard Mudd out of retirement. Mudd left the Indianapolis Colts after last year's Super Bowl.

The 68-year-old Mudd has 36 years of experience as an offensive line coach.

Meanwhile, Woods will stay in Minnesota as defensive backs coach under new coordinator Fred Pagac.


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