Monday, January 30, 2012

Eagles to keep Castillo, hire Bowles

Embattled Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will return to the team in the same capacity for the 2012 season and will be joined by former Miami Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles, who will coach the team's cornerbacks.

Castillo made a surprising switch to defensive coordinator last season after 13 seasons coaching the team's offensive linemen and was hardly a success while trying to implement a wide-9 scheme up front with a cover-2 behind it.

Bowles, who coached the Dolphins' secondary before being elevated after Tony Sparano was fired, was 2-1 as Miami's interim coach.

Under Bowles, the Miami defensive backs contributed to a defense that held opposing quarterbacks to a 58.1% completion rate, fifth-best in the AFC and seventh in the league. His tutelage also helped safety Yeremiah Bell earn a Pro Bowl berth in 2009 after reeling in three interceptions.

From 2005-07, Bowles was the secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys. During that span, Dallas compiled 52 interceptions, tied for third-most in the NFC, and were also the NFC’s fifth-ranked defense, allowing 310.4 yards per game. He coached three defensive backs to five Pro Bowl appearances: safety Roy Williams (2005-07) along with cornerback Terence Newman and safety Ken Hamlin in 2007.

Bowles was a four-year defensive assistant for Cleveland from 2001-04 as the secondary coach (2004) and the defensive nickel package coach (2001-03).  In 2004, the Browns held their opposition to just 181.3 passing yards per game, fifth in the league. Cleveland set a franchise record and led the NFL in 2001 with 33 interceptions, 28 from defensive backs and 10 from rookie Anthony Henry. Bowles made his NFL coaching debut as a defensive backs coach with the New York Jets in 2000, when the team was sixth in the league allowing 183.3 yards per game via the pass.

A native of Elizabeth, NJ, Bowles was a four-year letterman as a defensive back at Temple University (1982-85), and went on to play eight NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins (1986-90, 1992-93) and San Francisco 49ers (1991). He recorded 15 interceptions and two sacks in 117 career games. In addition to his NFL coaching and playing experience, Bowles was a collegiate defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach for three seasons at Grambling State (1998-99) and Morehouse College (1997) as well as a member of Green Bay’s personnel department (1995-96).

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