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Eagles owner harbored doubts on Juan Castillo's hiring

The firing of Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was a surprise for its timing. Many people expected it to come after last season.

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, for one, admits that he had doubts when coach Andy Reid flipped Castillo from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator last year.

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"But I let Andy make that call," Lurie told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I respected his decision. He felt it was the best thing to do at the time, and I don't interfere in that area."

Reid stressed that Lurie didn't push the coach to make the decision. Lurie echoed that point Tuesday. It's easy to believe. If the ownership ever was going to push Reid to make a change, it would have been during last season. Or at the end of it. This year, Castillo's defense was outperforming Reid's offense.

"I will never do that," Lurie said. "The way I operate, a coach is responsible for his staff. (He needs to) succeed or fail based on who he chooses and his own performance. I don't trigger that."

Lurie wasn't afraid, however, to put an ultimatum on Reid's job before this season. The Eagles coach must do better than 8-8 or he'll be fired. Reid has 10 games to straighten things out or Lurie will look for a new coach to build a new staff.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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