PHILADELPHIA - Eagles coach Andy Reid didn't waste any time in determining that he needed to shake things up.
He fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo Tuesday, just two days after the defense blew a fourth-quarter lead for the second straight game in a 26-23, overtime loss to Detroit.
"I think we all know how I feel about Juan as a person and as a football coach," Reid said Tuesday during a press conference at the NovaCare Complex. "This was as very difficult decision, one of the toughest things I've had to do as a football coach. But I have always said that I do what I think is best for this football team. Right now, we're an average football team (with a 3-3 record) and I think we're better than that."
More changes may be coming during the Eagles' open week.
Reid indicated that he is still evaluating the coaching staff and the players, including quarterback Michael Vick. When asked if Vick is still his starting quarterback, Reid said, "As I sit here today, he is the starting quarterback." That was also his stance regarding Castillo on Monday before changing his mind a day later.
"I'm still evaluating everything," Reid said. "I'm just trying to be honest with you. I'm taking this one day at a time here. I do what I think is best for the Philadelphia Eagles, regardless of public opinion. It's my job to make this team the best it can be."
Secondary coach Todd Bowles will replace Castillo as defensive coordinator for the rest of the season. Bobby April III, the son of Eagles special teams coordinator Bobby April, has been promoted from defensive quality control coach to replace Bowles as secondary coach.
Castillo, the team's offensive line coach for 13 seasons, was in his second season as defensive coordinator after replacing Sean McDermott prior to the 2011 season.
Statistically, the Eagles are currently ranked 12th in total defense, allowing an average of 226.3 yards per game. But they have only seven sacks this season a year after tying for the league lead with 50 and surrendered late leads in losses to Pittsburgh and Detroit. That was also a problem last season, when the Eagles' lost five leads in the fourth quarter en route to an 8-8 record.
"I'm expecting us to play aggressive, emotional football for four quarters," Reid said. "I want us to go all out for four quarters in all three phases (offense, defense, special teams)."
Castillo was one of the Eagles' longest-tenured coaches. He was in his 18th season with the team, tying him with running backs coach Ted Williams. Castillo spent 13 years as the Eagles' offensive line coach before Reid named him to succeed Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator prior to last season.
Bowles joined the Eagles this season after spending the past four seasons as assistant head coach/secondary coach in Miami. He was the Dolphins interim head coach for the final three games last season after Tony Sparano was fired.
Bowles was 2-1 as the interim head coach for Miami last season. The former Temple star is in his 13th season as an assistant. He began his NFL coaching career with the New York Jets in 2000 as a secondary coach, spent four years in Cleveland, four in Dallas and three in Miami.
Bowles, who is in his first year with the Eagles, will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m.