Reid: Eagles were better with Castillo than without him

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Reid: Eagles were better with Castillo than without him

This is as close as Andy Reid has come to admitting it was a huge mistake to fire Juan Castillo.

When all was said and done, we were playing better defense with Juan than without Juan, Reid conceded Monday. Hes a tremendous football coach.

Reid was fired a week ago Monday after the Eagles went 4-12 in his 14th season as head coach. He was hired by the Chiefs by the end of the week, and this past Monday spoke with Philly media about his tenure with the Eagles.

Most of the brief chat was fairly mundane, but his comments about Castillo were interesting because they go right to the heart of what went wrong here this past season and why Reid is no longer coach of the Eagles.

And the reality is that the Eagles were right in the middle of the playoff hunt when Reid fired Castillo, only to become one of the worst teams in the NFL with one of the worst pass defenses in NFL history once he was replaced.

When Reid fired Castillo on Oct. 15, the Eagles were 3-3, ranked 12th in the NFL in yards allowed and allowing 19.7 points per game. Opposing quarterbacks were completing 53 percent of their passes lowest in the NFL.

In 10 games after Todd Bowles was promoted from secondary coach to defensive coordinator, the Eagles went 1-7, gave up 27.8 points per game and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 67 percent of their passes second-highest in the NFL.

QBs had a 68.4 passer rating vs. the Eagles under Castillo and a 123.6 rating under Bowles.

I think thats a tribute to Juan, but I did what I did and thats my responsibility in both cases, Reid said in a conference call with Philly media set up by the Chiefs. The quarterback rating when I released him was pretty good.

Who knows what would have happened had Reid kept Castillo and fired defensive coordinator Jim Washburn instead of dismissing Castillo and then firing Washburn on Nov. 12.

But Reids feelings about Castillo are clear, and the same guy he fired in October hes now trying to hire as offensive line coach with the Chiefs.

Reids other interesting comments Monday were in regard to the Eagles internal power struggle that resulted in Joe Banners ouster and re-emergence with the Browns, and owner Jeff Luries remarks that Banner interfered in the Eagles 2010 and 2011 drafts.

Reid, like Lurie, didnt mention Banner by name but said the Eagles recent decline from NFC Championship Game appearance in 2008 to wild-card playoff loser in 2009 and 2010 to 8-8 in 2011 and 4-12 last year can be traced to the dysfunctional front office.

I would tell you the most important thing is that everybodys got to be pulling in the same direction, he said. Were all in it together, all pulling the same way.

When that gets out of whack, bad things happen. Thats how this league works. If you get a little bit out of whack, youre not going to be successful.

For years, Lurie, Banner, Reid and Roseman all worked together. Now Reid is in Kansas City, Banners in Cleveland and Roseman has more power than ever working under Lurie in Philly.

Lurie, Roseman and President Don Smolenski are currently running the Eagles search to replace Reid.

Howies a young guy whos going to do a phenomenal job, Reid said.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

Sixers waive Carl Landry, Tibor Pleiss; officially sign Cat Barber

Sixers waive Carl Landry, Tibor Pleiss; officially sign Cat Barber

The Sixers made some roster tweaks on Wednesday night.

The team waived forward Carl Landry and center Tibor Pleiss, while officially announcing the signing of guard Anthony "Cat" Barber.

The Sixers were expected to cut Pleiss, who was acquired last Friday in a trade with the Jazz. On July 21, Barber and the Sixers reportedly agreed to a partially guaranteed deal.

Landy, a 32-year-old veteran, played one season with the Sixers after being acquired last summer in a trade with the Kings, a deal in which he was essentially a toss-in as it revolved around bringing Nik Stauskas to Philadelphia. Landry, who was under contract for 2016-17 at $6.75 million, battled injury to start 2015-16 and ended up playing in 36 games (12 starts), averaging 9.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Barber, 6-foot-3, 173 pounds, will fight for a roster spot at point guard during training camp. The 22-year-old went undrafted in June after declaring following his junior season at NC State in which he averaged 23.5 points per game, seventh most in the country and best in the ACC.

Ben Simmons working out with LeBron James

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Ben Simmons working out with LeBron James

Ben Simmons' fellow NBA rookies may not think too highly of him, but when the best basketball player on the planet is giving him pointers, he must be doing something right.

On Tuesday, a photo of Simmons and LeBron James dribbling side by side started making the rounds on Instagram. That's right. The Sixers' number-one overall draft pick and franchise savior is apparently training with the four-time league MVP and reigning world champion.

#Klutch @klutchsports

A photo posted by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Those workouts continued on Wednesday, when 12-time All-Star Dwayne Wade posted a photo of himself, Simmons and James, as well as Richard Jefferson and Jordan McRae. That's some good company for a first-year player to keep.

Good day of work!

A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

What does all of this mean for Simmons and the Sixers? Hard to say, but it can't be a bad thing that the rookie point-forward is spending time with a pair of future first-ballot Hall of Famers. Surely he must be learning something.

That's good news for the Sixers, who hope that Simmons can even come close to living up to the lofty comparisons some have drawn to James already.

Tonight's Lineup: Tommy Joseph starts for 1st time against Gio Gonzalez

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Tonight's Lineup: Tommy Joseph starts for 1st time against Gio Gonzalez

Tommy Joseph is back in the starting lineup … as he's expected to be for most of the final month of the season. Joseph bats fourth behind third baseman Maikel Franco.

Joseph did not start Tuesday night in the Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. The 25-year-old is hitting .251 with 17 home runs and 34 RBIs.

The slugger has a significantly higher average against left-handed pitching than righties, despite clubbing 12 of his 17 homers against right-handed pitchers.

Joseph has yet to faced Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez.

In other lineup notes, Tyler Goeddel gets the start in left field and will hit eighth, while A.J. Ellis gets his second start as a Phillie. He'll catch Adam Morgan.

Here is the full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Aaron Altherr, RF
6. Freddy Galvis, SS
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Tyler Goeddel, LF
9. Adam Morgan, P

For more on tonight's game, read Steven Tydings' game notes.