ATL Fun Fact #73: The phrase "Fire Juan Castillo" returns 14 pages of results on Google.
This includes two Facebook pages singularly devoted to the dismissal of the embattled Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator.
There were plenty of reasons behind the Eagles' 8-8 disappointment last season, but Castillo was cast as the scapegoat. The Eagles' defense underperformed, and Castillo -- a first-year defensive coordinator who had previously served as offensive-line coach -- was thought by many to have been badly miscast.
Eagles coach Andy Reid didn't succumb to popular opinion. The Eagles finished strong, winning their final four games, and Reid decided to stick with his man. That loyalty meant everything to Castillo.
"You never forget that, as long as you live," Castillo said of Reid's faith, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "You'd take a bullet for him, you know? Just like he does for us."
Philadelphia will have a different look on defense in 2012. Asante Samuel was traded to the Atlanta Falcons, and many believe the Eagles found a steal in acquiring middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. The new personnel marks a new beginning for the unit.
"Last year's gone," Castillo said. "It's about this year. It's about us getting off to a good start, and starting where we left off last year."
Castillo is lucky. If he had been "one-and-done" as a defensive coordinator, it's unlikely he would have gotten such an opportunity again. With Reid's patience comes plenty of pressure ... but it's far better than the alternative.