Behind the scenes tour of New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS -- Juan Castillo had other options after being fired from the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Ravens gave him two good reasons -- coach John Harbaugh and GM Ozzie Newsome -- to come here, where he has been a consultant for Sunday’s Super Bowl vs. the San Francisco 49ers. Next season, Castillo will be the run-game coordinator, a new position created under offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.
“The thing about Ozzie is the way he runs things, the respect that he has, he gets the kind of offensive linemen I like,” said Castillo, who was an offensive coach for the Eagles from 1995-2010 and ended his tenure as defensive coordinator. “When you look at his offensive line you can compare it to the ones that Philadelphia. Those are some of the things I looked at if I was going to go back to offense.”
Castillo, 53, saw something special in Harbaugh, who was a defensive backs and special-teams coach with the Eagles until he was hired by the Ravens in 2008.
“He has that little charisma, that little it, you’re special. Because of the way he had the special-teams guys playing and then he went to DBs, sometimes I say in a way it was a competition,” Castillo said. “I would say look at how he has a room (of position players). So I would try to have my room like that, too. Watching him in front of this team -- I know it’s not the right way to say because he’s the head coach -- but I’m proud of him. I see the way his players respect him. Not just respect for him but I can tell how they care for him. That’s important.”
Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach but then was promoted to offensive coordinator after Week 14 when Cam Cameron was fired. That created room for Castillo to coordinate the running attack with Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce and Vonta Leach.
“That’s basically what I did in Philadelphia. I put the run game together and I put all the protections together. So basically that’s what it is,” Castillo said. “You don’t do it all by yourself. You do it with other people. You present it to the offensive coordinator and then he still makes the final decision. But you’re the lead guy as far as putting everything together to bring it to the room for the offensive coordinator.”
Castillo went to the 2005 Super Bowl with the Eagles, losing 24-21 to the New England Patriots. He recognizes the importance of winning Sunday when it comes to the big picture.
“We won a lot of games. We just did not win the Super Bowl. When you go to Super Bowl you got to win it because if not you’re forgotten. We went to five NFC championships but we went to just one Super Bowl,” Castillo said. “That’s hard to swallow. We had a good run. The Philadelphia people are great people. They’re great football fans just like the Baltimore Ravens fans are. In Philadelphia, you walked around they recognized you. They knew what you did, who you were. It was awesome.”