The Chicago Bears knew they were taking a calculated risk when they chose to move on from respected offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. Head coach Matt Nagy though felt a shakeup was needed. He wanted somebody who meshed better with his style of offense. That is why he quickly scooped up Juan Castillo. The 60-year old spent over a decade coaching offensive lines for Andy Reid. It was an obvious fit.
Confidence is high that the detail-oriented Castillo can help clean up some of the issues that plagued the Bears offensive line in 2019. His reputation suggests he can pull it off. What’s crazy is it almost seems like fate that the man would one day coach in Chicago.
Why? Castillo first cracked the NFL as an offensive assistant in 1995. He’d never had any experience with the offensive line before then. So he needed an education. This led him to an encounter with a former Bears assistant who helped pave the way for his future success according to Larry Mayer of Chicagobears.com.
“Not about to let his circumstances ruin a golden opportunity to further his career, Castillo researched and identified seven of the best offensive line coaches in the country. He then contacted them and spent two weeks every spring from 1990 through 1994 crisscrossing the nation to learn from them.
The group was comprised of NFL coaches Tom Bresnahan (Bills), Jim Hanifan (Redskins), Bobb McKittrick (49ers), Howard Mudd (Chiefs and Seahawks) and Tony Wise (Cowboys and Bears), as well as college assistants Joe Moore (Notre Dame) and Jerry Hanlon (Michigan).”
Juan Castillo learned from an overlooked Bears staple
Tony Wise is truly one of the unsung heroes of the NFL in the 1990s. He was the architect of the fabled “Great Wall of Dallas” that ended up paving the way to a dynasty. Then when he came to Chicago, his impact was felt almost immediately. His first year with the team, the offensive line gave up 48 sacks. The next year? That dropped to 25. Then in 1995, it dropped to 15. Wise also got 1,000-yard seasons from the likes of Rashaan Salaam and Raymont Harris.
His influence on Castillo can’t be understated. So it’s rather fitting the man would eventually end up coaching in Chicago. Almost like fate deemed it inevitable. Can he have the same impact Wise did back then? That is certainly the hope. He has a bit more to work with than his former mentor did. Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie are decent veterans. Cody Whitehair and James Daniels are solid interior guys. Germain Ifedi has 1st round talent.
If they embrace his relentless style, then results should be immediate.