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
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
“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.”