Nnamdi Asomugha seemed to be the catalyst for the decision to fire Juan Castillo. His comments following the Detroit loss, the ones where he openly questioned the former defensive coordinator's strategy, were quoted in every argument against Castillo. They also appeared to be out of character for the usually politically-correct Asomugha. Yesterday, the cornerback explained.
"I had a tough time last week when those stories came out, to be honest," Asomugha said. "It was more so a character thing and that's something that I would never do as a player."
Asomugha didn't apologize for what he said, but he made it clear that he wasn't trying to throw Castillo under the bus. Coach and player had a nice heart-to-heart conversation last week, right after Castillo was fired, and smoothed everything out.
"It wasn't a good feeling," Asomugha said. "After speaking to him and him knowing that wasn't the case, I think it made it a lot better. But I don't think that had anything to do with him being let go or anything."
With Castillo out, the defense must move forward. It's Todd Bowles' unit now, and the new defensive coordinator addressed his charges for the first time before practice yesterday morning. Asomugha didn't a notice a change in the guy that had been coaching him up in the secondary for the first six weeks.
"He's a funny guy when he gets up and speaks, so it wasn't like anybody was tense or nervous or anything like that," Asomugha said. "It was pretty much the same as always when he would have addressed us in the past."
What kind of style/attitude will Bowles bring to the struggling defense? Here’s what his players said:
“He talks to us like men. He’s not real up in your face. He’s not a loud guy. He expects you to know what you have to do as a man and as a professional,” said Nate Allen.
“It doesn’t matter what’s going on, he’s always going to be calm and just relaxed and stuff like that,” said Nnamdi Asomugha.
“He’s a smart coach ... He’s going to do his due diligence and understand the game as far as the offense is going to attack us and you have to be able to adjust during the game,” said Kurt Coleman.