Juan Castillo’s offense-to-defense coaching experiment backfired in Philadelphia, costing the defensive coordinator his job.
Castillo was fired by Eagles coach Andy Reid Tuesday and replaced by secondary coach Todd Bowles. It was the first time Reid dismissed a coach midseason in his 14 years in charge.
‘‘I put Juan in this situation and things didn’t work out the way I had hoped,’’ Reid said. ‘‘I take full responsibility for putting him in that situation.’’
Reid’s decision last year to promote Castillo after 13 seasons as offensive line coach was a stunner. It came after a long search and with new defensive line coach Jim Washburn already in place running a wide-nine scheme that isn’t widely used.
Castillo was under the microscope right from the start, with nearly every move he made scrutinized intensely. He seemed overmatched in his first season and the defense struggled as Philadelphia started 4-8. But Castillo’s unit showed enough improvement during a season-ending four-game winning streak that he stuck around.
The move came two days after the defense blew a 10-point lead with 5:18 remaining and lost in overtime to Detroit, 26-23. A week earlier, the defense allowed Pittsburgh to rally for a winning field goal in the final seconds.
Bowles becomes Philadelphia’s third defensive coordinator since longtime assistant Jim Johnson died in 2009 following a battle with cancer. Sean McDermott had the job for two seasons and Castillo lasted 22 games.
‘‘I’m very familiar with the personnel,’’ Bowles said. ‘‘That’s not going to be a problem. ’’
The Eagles (3-3) are on a bye this week, and Reid hinted more changes could be coming. An offense that features several dynamic players is next-to-last in scoring and turning the ball over in bunches.
‘‘Please understand that offense, defense, and special teams right now, we need to get better,’’ Reid said. ‘‘I’m going to continue to work through that and it’s my responsibility to do that. ’’
Does that mean Michael Vick may get benched for rookie Nick Foles?
‘‘As I sit here today, Michael’s the starting quarterback,’’ Reid said.
Holmgren is out
New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III said Mike Holmgren is out as team president, although the Super Bowl-winning coach will remain with the franchise to help in the transition. Haslam was introduced as the Browns’ new boss after the 32 NFL owners unanimously approved his $1 billion purchase of the team from Randy Lerner. Moments later, Haslam announced that former Eagles president Joe Banner would become chief executive officer. The move takes effect Oct. 25, when the sale is concluded. Haslam plans no other personnel changes before 2013, meaning the jobs of coach Pat Shurmur and his staff and general manager Tom Heckert appear safe.
Bounty documents sought
A federal magistrate judge has ordered NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to provide the court with documents related to the league’s bounty investigation of the Saints. The order by Magistrate Daniel Knowles came in response to suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s efforts to initiate the discovery process in his defamation case against the commissioner. Vilma has said the NFL has allowed him to review only a fraction of documents related to bounty matter. Knowles issued a compromise order in which only the court, and not Vilma, may see the documents — including reports of interviews with witnesses — before a subsequent order is made on whether to allow discovery to proceed. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said league officials have discussed the order with Knowles and have agreed to comply.
Harrison on concussions
Steelers linebacker James Harrison didn’t want to wait for the NFL to do something about protecting his head, so the four-time Pro Bowler decided to do it himself. After enduring what he estimated as ‘‘double digit’’ bouts with concussion-like symptoms throughout his decade-long career, Harrison began using a special layer of padding inside his helmet last fall and is pleased with the results. ‘‘I haven’t seen any spots or had any blackouts,’’ Harrison said Tuesday . . . The Steelers suspended rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu two games without pay following his arrest over the weekend following a late-night run-in with police. The fourth-round draft pick faces three felony counts — fleeing police, aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle — among a dozen other charges . . . The Cardinals said quarterback Kevin Kolb has rib cartilage damage and will be sidelined for ‘‘an unspecified period of time.’’ John Skelton will start . . . Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who sat out last week’s game at Tampa Bay with a concussion, has been cleared for non-contact practice and could play Oct. 28 against Oakland . . . The Ravens placed cornerback Lardarius Webb (torn left ACL) on injured reserve and elevated running back Bobby Rainey from the practice squad. Baltimore is expected to put linebacker Ray Lewis on injured reserve later this week. Lewis tore his right triceps in Sunday’s game . . . The Cowboys expect to be without running back DeMarco Murray for Sunday’s game at Carolina. Owner Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio progam it ‘‘looks obvious’’ that Murray won’t face the Panthers because of his sprained left foot suffered against the Ravens . . . The league announced that the Vikings will host the Steelers at London’s Wembley Stadium Sept. 29, 2013. The Jaguars will host the 49ers at Wembley on Oct. 27, 2013. This is the first time the NFL will play two regular-season games in London in the same season.