*The outpouring of well wishers for Juan Castillo has been overwhelming for the recently fired Eagles defensive coordinator. In fact, many who have coaches with him in the past have promised Castillo he will have a job in 2013. One AFC head coach was shocked by the move because he thought the Eagles defense was playing pretty well. He also was shocked because the move was out of character for Andy Reid and the Eagles organization. Some think Reid is feeling the Philly heat like never before.
*Could Michael Lombardi be returning to Cleveland? That’s what some NFL men suspect, in part because Lombardi is believed to be close with Eagles new president Joe Banner. Lombardi has been in the media business for the last five years and was one of the co-founders of this website before leaving to join NFL.com in 2010. He previously served the Browns as director of player personnel and pro personnel director in a nine year stint that ended in 1996.
*Sources in Allen Park are expressing frustration and concern about Jahvid Best’s health. The concussion issues that have prevented the running back from playing apparently could continue to prevent him from playing for a long time. His ability to play NFL football long-term is now being questioned.
*The Steelers might have to figure out a way to play champion caliber defense without safety Troy Polamalu. The 31-year old safety is out with a calf injury and is starting to remind front office men of Bob Sanders. Both safeties played with reckless abandon, and Sanders paid the price with a shortened career and many injuries.
*One general manager candidate who has caught the eyes of NFL teams is San Francisco’s Tom Gamble, who interviewed for the Rams job a year ago. He has had a major hand in building the 49ers. He has 24 years of NFL experience and is well versed on the college and pro sides. He also has worked on contracts and has even coached. Gamble also has the lineage—his father Harry Gamble was the president of the Eagles.
*NFL people can't figure out if Stanford's David Shaw is NFL head coach material. On paper he fits the profile—he coached as an NFL assistant for nine years, has worked with some outstanding football minds and is the son of former NFL assistant Willie Shaw. But he's so reserved it’s hard to tell how he would be accepted by a locker room of pros and how he would play out as an NFL team’s front man publicly.
*Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli recently spent the better portion of a day on a media tour. Pioli always has preferred to remain in the background, but people who know him say he has come to realize it’s important to have a higher profile in today’s NFL—in part because of the urging of his good friend Thomas Dimitroff, the general manager of the Falcons.