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A long-time Eagles assistant coach returns to the NFC East


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A long-time Eagles assistant coach returns to the NFC East


Juan Castillo is back in the NFC East for the first time since Andy Reid fired him as defensive coordinator six games into the 2012 season.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, who worked with Castillo on Reid’s Eagles staff from 1999 through 2003, hired Castillo Friday as tight ends coach, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

This will be the first time Castillo has coached tight ends in 25 years. After joining the Eagles on Ray Rhodes’ staff as an entry-level quality control coach in 1995, Castillo replaced retiring Lew Carpenter as tight ends coach in 1997.

Castillo wound up spending 17 seasons with the Eagles, including 13 as offensive line coach. That’s the second-longest tenure of any coach in franchise history. Ted Williams, who also started under Rhodes in 1995, spent 20 years here under Rhodes, Reid and Chip Kelly.

Reid improbably promoted Castillo to defensive coordinator to replace Sean McDermott, who he fired after the 2010 season. Castillo had played linebacker at Texas A&M and in the USFL, and the Eagles had a top-10 defense in his first year as defensive coordinator. But the 2012 season was a catastrophe in many ways, and during the bye week Reid fired Castillo and replaced him with secondary coach Todd Bowles.

Castillo quickly joined former Eagles colleague John Harbaugh in Baltimore as the Ravens' running game coordinator and won a Super Bowl ring a few months after he was fired.

Castillo spent five years with the Ravens, then two with McDermott in Buffalo. After a year as an offensive analyst on Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan, he returned to the NFL in 2020 as offensive line coach with the Bears under Matt Nagy, who he had also worked with in Philadelphia.

This will be Castillo’s 26th year coaching in the NFL, and he’s only worked under Reid or members of his coaching tree – Harbaugh, McDermott, Nagy and now Rivera.

In Washington, Castillo replaces 70-year-old Pete Hoener, who announced his retirement on Friday. Hoener had been with Rivera since his days with the Panthers.

In his only season coaching tight ends, with the Eagles in 1997, Castillo worked with rookie Chad Lewis, 2nd-year pro Jason Dunn and veteran Jimmie Johnson.


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