So says Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, a Reid disciple of nine seasons, but the Eagles' former special teams and defensive backs coach wasn't simply heaping praise on his old boss. In a conversation with Geoff Mosher of the Delaware News Journal, Harbaugh defended last year's controversial decision to promote Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator.
“Knowing Juan all these years, I just know Juan is a great football coach and I wasn’t surprised at all when Andy made the move.”
“I think it takes kind of a visionary; it’s a little bit of a visionary-type choice. I can see where people wouldn’t understand it.”
Andy has been called a lot of things lately, but that's the first time in awhile -- perhaps ever -- somebody chose the word 'visionary.' Harbaugh was also confident the Eagles' defense will be 'great' next season.
“You never want to count Juan Castillo out. Never.”
Harbaugh's outspoken backing of Castillo is not exactly a surprise. The two coaches worked together in Philadelphia for 10 years, and it's not the first time Harbaugh offered strong support of Castillo. Last year, he predicted there is much more to come.
"I think he'll be a head coach in this league someday. I just think he's a special guy."
Harbaugh has enjoyed tremendous success in Baltimore, amassing a 44-20 record during the regular season, and winning at least one playoff game all four years of his tenure, though he wasn't exactly a traditional hire either. He spent nine seasons as the Eagles special teams coordinator, and one as their defensive backs coach before accepting the Ravens job. Prior to his NFL experience, Harbaugh coached special teams and various positions at the NCAA level.
It's not quite the same as jumping from offensive line to defensive coordinator, but even Reid was never a coordinator before becoming head coach of the Eagles. Just goes to show you can't always judge a book by its cover. If he's as great a coach as his peers believe, Juan Castillo will make it work in 2012.
>> John Harbaugh lends support to Reid, Castillo [Delaware News Journal]