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Eagles fire Castillo, promote former Redskins player

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Eagles fire Castillo, promote former Redskins player

After blowing yet another fourth quarter lead on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Castillo was in his second season as head of the defense and will be replaced by secondary coach Todd Bowles.

Head coach Andy Reid, a longtime colleague and friend of Castillo’s, released a statement via the team:

"I want to make it clear that I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Juan Castillo as a coach and as a person. He's one of the finest football coaches that I have ever worked with. He has served this organization extremely well for 18 years and letting him go was a difficult decision. I know he will continue to be a successful coach in this league and wish he and his family nothing but the best.”

Through six weeks the 3-3 Eagles haven’t been among the league’s best defenses, but they have also been far from the worst. Philly ranks 12th in the NFL in yardage allowed (330.8 per game) and place 13th in points allowed (20.8 per game).

The one stat that really stands out about Castillo’s tenure on defense is seven blown fourth quarter leads since 2011. On Sunday the Detroit Lions came to win by scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter in Philadelphia.

Bowles joined the Eagles after being the secondary coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2011. He played eight seasons in the NFL as a safety and started Super Bowl XXII for the Redskins.

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redskins pick 5

redskins pick 5

The Redskins have added a tight end to their draft list, taking Jeremy Sprinkle out of Arkansas in the fifth round.

Sprinkle, 6-5, 252, had a solid senior season for the Razorbacks but it did not end well. He had 33 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. He helped Arkansas make the Belk Bowl. However, after getting a gift card to the sponsoring department store a few days before the game, Sprinkle took more merchandise than the $450 card would pay for and he was cited for shoplifting. That got him suspended for the bowl game.

“It was a big disappointment for everybody around me,” said Sprinkle when asked about the incident on a conference call with reporters. “I’ve done everything I need to do [to resolve the legal issues] and I’m just trying to move past it.

There are players with worse offenses on teams’ draft boards and this one is just dumb and not violent. However, it does bring the player’s judgement into questions.

Scouts think that he can add some weight onto his frame and become a textbook blocking tight end, something that Jay Gruden said the team is looking for. Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are productive pass catchers but they could use a blocking tight end and that could a role for Sprinkle to grow in to.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Why Redskins drafting Montae Nicholson is something of a head scratcher

Why Redskins drafting Montae Nicholson is something of a head scratcher

The Redskins first four picks of the 2017 Draft were met with nearly universal acclaim. That changed with the franchise's second fourth-round selection on Saturday when the team selected Michigan State safety Montae Nicholson. 

Looking at the NFL.com Draft Profile for the former Spartan, the results aren't pretty. From NFL.com:

Nicholson has outstanding size and could test well at the combine and his pro day, but his tape is blah and no amount of workouts in shorts and t-shirts will change that. Nicholson's lack of playmaking production combined with his unsure tackling make him a traits-only prospect who could have a hard time sticking in the league unless he finds more confidence and aggression.​

On top of that review, Nicholson is injured. He had surgery for a torn labrum in March, and seems destined to open training camp on the PUP list. 

There is some good news. Nicholson has elite speed, he ran track at Michigan State. His sophomore season in East Lansing stands out. That year he registered 83 tackles with three interceptions and a forced fumble. 

As the draft gets into later rounds, projections mean less and less. While many outlets didn't think Nicholson would be drafted, at all, his fourth round selection will certainly stand out as the 'Skins first true reach of the draft.

The selection also means that at least one, and maybe more, scout or front office member really likes Nicholson. The guy has ideal size at 6-foot-2, 212 lbs., to play NFL safety and the speed is obvious. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine. 

If the 'Skins can clean up his tackling - a big if - Nicholson could evolve into a valuable pick. The coaching staff will have to get to work, and that won't even begin until Nicholson gets medically cleared. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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