McDermott endorses Castillo as Eagles' new defensive coordinator

Posted: February 05, 2011

DALLAS - One guy you might expect to be critical of the Eagles' decision to make Juan Castillo their defensive coordinator would be the man Castillo replaced.

But Sean McDermott had nothing but good things to say yesterday about the offensive line coach he worked with for 12 Eagles seasons.

"Juan has worked extremely hard for an opportunity like this," McDermott said during a weekend break in Philadelphia from his job as the Carolina Panthers' new defensive coordinator.

But isn't McDermott, dismissed last month after two seasons as Jim Johnson's successor, a little surprised to be replaced by somebody who hasn't coached defense since 1989 in a Texas high school?

"A good coach is a good coach," McDermott said, in his first Eagles-related remarks since he left the team. "I expect him to do a great job . . . Some of the best coaches start on one side, then go to the other."

But are they named coordinator when they've never coached on that side in the NFL? McDermott acknowledged he didn't know of any such cases.

"Coaching is teaching," McDermott said. "He's an awful good teacher."

Pressed to comment on whether he saw Castillo as a strategist, McDermott declined to answer.

McDermott, whose firing was kept secret so he could attempt to land another job under the radar, didn't express any bitterness over being dismissed 3 days after Eagles coach Andy Reid told a news conference McDermott would be retained.

"I can't go there," he said. "They've moved on and I've moved on. I wish them well."

McDermott's brother, Tim, remains in charge of the Eagles' marketing efforts.

Report: Bunting eyed

The Eagles still have openings for a secondary coach and a linebackers coach. They are expected to promote Mike Zordich and Mike Caldwell, respectively, but the Wilmington News-Journal reported yesterday that Eagles coach Andy Reid has spoken by phone with ex-Eagles linebacker John Bunting, as well.

Bunting, who coached linebackers for Dick Vermeil with the Kansas City Chiefs, is a former college head coach, most recently at North Carolina until 2006.

Attempts to contact Bunting last night were unsuccessful. *

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