Chicago Bears: Evaluating Juan Castillo

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 13: Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo, left, of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with Assistant Head Coach Russ Grimm of the Arizona Cardinals before the start of their game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 13, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 13: Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo, left, of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with Assistant Head Coach Russ Grimm of the Arizona Cardinals before the start of their game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 13, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) /

Has Juan Castillo done a good job in his best offensive line coach jobs?  Should Chicago Bears fans be happy with his hiring?

The Chicago Bears move from Harry Hiestand to Juan Castillo as offensive line coach is a notable one, as the offensive line took a step back last season and we all saw the results. Hiestand had a good reputation, which brought questions of his firing. Especially with injuries to Bobby Massie and Kyle Long.

However, James Daniels and Cody Whitehair switching was a disaster, and the team is unsure about the development of Daniels. So, in such a critical year, it is worth asking if Juan Castillo is up to that task.

The biggest reason to come out for the moves is to fix the run game that has not been productive for two straight years.

When looking at how Castillo has done in rushing success, it is a bit of a mixed bag. Below is a list of his stints as offensive line coach as well as the ranking his team had in adjusted line yards. Adjusted line yards have been the best stat to track especially how valuable an offensive line is.

Adjusted Line Yards Rank

1998- 13th– It is worth noting that he had a rookie at left tackle, his starting guard missed six starts and his starting center missed three as well. We will get to evaluating his development of draft picks soon.

1999- 14th– His team added a rookie left guard and made changes at right guard and right tackle.

2000- 18th– The Eagles made changes at four of the five offensive line spots, keeping just their left tackle, Tra Thomas.

2001-19th– The Eagles ran the same group back, but added a rookie center.

2002-14th- His team brought the same group back, although they missed six games from their left guard.

2003-  8th– Castillo brought the same group back and saw his most success.

2004- 19th– The team saw a lot of shuffling at guard.

2005- 23rd– The Eagles starting left tackle and center missed six and eight games respectively. They also added a rookie right guard.

2006- 3rd– The addition of Shawn Andrews the season before started to show. They were healthy at left tackle and center as well.

2007- 5th They ran the same group back and had their most consistent success.

2008- 13th The team made changes at left guard and right tackle. This was the first year that Nagy worked with Castillo.

2009- 8th The team added Jason Peters to replace Tra Thomas and made a change at right tackle.

2010- 10th They ran the same group back.


2014- 3rd- After coming in during the 2013 season to help the run game, he helped the team adjusted line yards to increase from the worst in the NFL to third.

2015- 14th

2016- 13th


2017- 27th- Castillo did not inherit much and was starting a rookie third-round pick at left tackle.

2018- 30th- This led to Castillo being let go.

Drafted Players

Castillo does not have a say in the players he drafts, but it is his job to develop talent. Let’s take a look at the names he has helped evaluate and work with.

Tra Thomas, LT

The Eagles drafted Thomas 11th overall, so Castillo had a lot to work with. However, Thomas had a memorable career in Philadelphia playing 10 years and missing just ten starts on the blind slide. Castillo was his offensive line coach for every snap of his ten years in Philadelphia.

Doug Brzezinski, LG

The Eagles drafted Doug Brzezinski in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft. He started 16 games as a rookie and spent three more years as a reserve. He only lasted six NFL seasons in total.

John Welbourn, LG

Welbourn was drafted in the fourth round of the same draft. While Brzezinski started 16 games as a rookie, Welbourn started in one. However, from 2000-2003 he held down the starting left guard job, and went on to play until 2007 as an NFL starter. Castillo hit on one out of his two mid rounders.

Bobbie Williams, RG

Williams was a second round pick. After failing to win a starting job in his first two years, the team cleared the way for him in 2003, but he just did not work out. However, he had a fine career with the Bengals from 2004-2011. This was either a miss by Castillo or the front office, but Castillo did not get the most out of him.

Hank Fraley, Jamaal Jackson, C

Fraley was a UDFA who spent 2000 on the practice squad but started every game from 2000-2004 for the Eagles. In 2005, when he went down with an injury that led to Jamaal Jackson, another UDFA stepping in. The team let Fraley walk in free agency where he had a strong career in Cleveland.

Jackson started through the 2009 season when an injury set him back. Getting quality center play from 2000-2009 out of two UDFAs is a clear feather in the cap of Castillo.

Jeremy Bridges, Trey Darilek, Adrian Clarke, Scott Young, Calvin Armstrong

These three were fourth through seventh-round picks who had a combined four career NFL starts.

Shawn Andrews

Andrews was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft. He started at right guard from 2005-2007, but a back injury derailed his career. He did make an instant impact, though.

Todd Herremans

Herremans was drafted in 2005 and started from 2006 through 2011 with the Eagles at left guard. So from Brzezinski, and Welbourn through Herremans, the team had a draft pick by developed Castillo from 1999 through 2011 at left guard.

Michael McGlynn, King Dunlap, Max Jean-Giles, John Urschel, Robert Meyers, Alex Lewis, Ronnie Stanley, Dion Dawkins were all drafted with Castillo, but he did not stay with these picks for longer than two years, so it is hard to say how much influence he had on the pick or the development of their career.

Tackle for Loss and Sack Value

Lastly, is his value above the average coordinator. Last year, Justis Mosqueda looked into offensive line play by comparing tackles for loss and sacks for each coach compared to the league average for that year. Then, he adjusted for opponent.

More from Bear Goggles On

The article can be found here. It rated Castillo as an above average coach during his career, the 13th most valuable amongst offensive line coaches.

He was behind Harry Hiestand on that list, but that is not updated through the 2019 season, which certainly would make the two closer.


Overall, this feels like a lateral move. There is no doubt that he can coach up an offensive line. He has seen big names and has made the run game work with the right pieces. However, when injuries and shuffling have come, he has not gone above and beyond his talent level. It can be argued that Castillo has a career of NFL experience, while Hiestand has spent a lot of time in the college ranks.

The big difference is obviously the familiarity with Nagy. Whether Hiestand was a scapegoat for Nagy and Mitch Trubisky or not, Castillo knows what he is walking into with Nagy and if Nagy is going to go down, he wants to have a person he is comfortable with.

The two spent plenty of time discussing offensive philosophy, and Castillo will jump right in next season with the same core ideas as Nagy. Is the familiarity a big enough addition that it will show a change? It likely will depend on the health and development of the players on the roster.