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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Here is a transcript of an interview that Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha did with the press in front of his locker Monday at the NovaCare Complex.
Asomugha had made some comments following the Eagles' overtime loss to the Detroit Lions seemingly critical of the defense. Two days later, coordinator Juan Castillo was fired and replaced by Todd Bowles.

Thoughts on Castillo firing:

“It's part of the business of football. We all respect him. I respect Juan as a man, as a coach. So obviously, he is going to land on his feet and he is going to do well. It was tough at first to hear it because you have pretty much grown so much --- the guys have seen him grow so much --- but you know that he is going to be fine wherever he ended up.”

On Todd Bowles, and if he can correct whatever was lacking, particularly in the secondary:

“I don't know. The thing about Todd is that --- as you guys know --- he is real 'chill.' I don't know if you guys have interviewed him or anything. There is an equanimity about him. It doesn't matter what's going on, he's always going to be calm and relaxed and stuff like that. So that's good. He always feels that there is a solution no matter what we are going through. So I think that's one of the big qualities that he is going to bring.”

How much can a defense change?

“I'm not sure. That is kind of up to him. He could change it all or he could change a little bit. It's all possible. I am not sure exactly what he is going to implement and how he is going to do it.”

What was mood like when Bowles addressed the team?:

“It was the same as always. He has addressed us before. So he is a funny guy when he gets up and speaks. So it wasn't like he was tense or nervous or anything like that. It was the same as he has addressed us in the past.”

How does such a move affect the locker room tension?

“The mood doesn't change. No one gets a chance to have the nerves start going a little bit. It's just being eager to start winning some games. We won early and then the last two we weren't able to get. So I think that's the mood. It's, 'We've got to get some wins together,' more than anything else.”

Any thoughts that the players let Castillo down, or that with better play he would still be employed?

“I don't know. As a player, how do you really adjudicate something like that? My mind can't even think on that level because I am a player. Those decisions are all for the people in upper management. But I couldn't say the players let him down or what the reason was for why he was let go. As a player, I can't think on that level.”

There was a perception after the game that you were questioning Juan's play-calling and that might have led to this. Clarify?

“I had a tough time last week when those stories came out, to be honest. More so because it was a character thing and it was something I would never do. As a player --- and I think you guys will start to know that a little more as we continue to get to know each other --- there is no underlying, 'Well, this was said, but it might have meant this.' I wouldn't do that to a coach, especially Juan, just because in the player-coach relationship we have been so communicative. It wasn't a good feeling. But after speaking to him and him knowing that wasn't the case, I think that made it a lot better. But I don't think that had anything to do with him being let go or anything.”

On players' view of defense:

“I don't think anybody is questioning the defense. Even talking to guys today, we think this defense is good. Everybody feels that way. So we are still confident in this defense.”

Expecting changes in the way the defense is run with Bowles?

“I don't know. He might call games differently. It depends on how he sees it and how he sees the situation that we are in. But I don't know about the plays and such. Today was more about correcting the mistakes we have made in the past. So you really don't know or can gauge what he's going to do. But there is a lot of confidence in his ability.”

What will make Bowles a good coordinator:

“The ability to stay calm in a fire and not get rattled and not lose yourself in that moment. Those are the qualities that he has and that obviously will make him a good coordinator and have made him a successful coach to this point.”

Would you rather see him in the booth or the sidelines?

“On the sidelines, 100 percent. Because I think he might be down there. I am not sure how it is going to work. But to me, he has been a DB coach, so he can speak to the DBs a little more. But as a coordinator, I don't know how he is going to do it. That's why I initially said, on the sidelines.”


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