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Castillo shines in return

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Chargers.com

    As Chargers defensive ends Luis Castillo and Igor Olshansky made their way off the field Monday night following the Bolts’ 23-3 win over the Broncos, the two engaged in a friendly banter regarding who should be credited with a first-quarter sack and forced fumble that ended Denver’s opening drive of the night.

    “We were going back and forth,” Castillo said with an ear to ear smile. “He thought he got to (Jay Cutler) first and I thought I hit him at the same time.”

    The official scorer sided with Olshansky, but that was fine with Castillo. He was simply happy to have an opportunity to argue.

    “To be back on that field having the discussion, that was fun,” Castillo said.

    Seven weeks ago in Minnesota, Castillo was carted off the field with an ankle injury. He underwent an operation the next day and missed six games due to the injury. He'd targeted Monday night's game against Denver as his return date, and he was back on the gridiron to help the Bolts pick up their 10th win of the season against their division foes.

    Prior to Monday's game, safety Clinton Hart joked that he’d have to break out the WD-40 to loosen up Castillo’s rust, but if there were kinks to be ironed out, Castillo’s play sure didn’t show it.

    On the second play of the second quarter, the third-year defensive end sacked Cutler for a six-yard loss to force a punt. In the fourth quarter, Castillo got up the field and batted down a Cutler pass on fourth down to end another Broncos drive.

    Castillo only played about a dozen snaps, all of which came on passing situations. Still, he was credited with two tackles, a sack and a pass defensed and could have been credited with an assist on Olshansky’s key first-quarter play.

    “He’s just an outstanding pass rusher,” Head Coach Norv Turner said of Castillo’s performance. “That was our plan to get him some snaps playing in our nickel defense, getting over the guards and rushing the passer. He did a nice job.”

    While he’s anxious to get back to playing every down and putting his skills against the run to use, Castillo was pleased with what he accomplished Monday.

    “That’s the prize for us, to get to the quarterback,” Castillo said. “That’s what they brought me here to do. I’ve missed so much time over the last two years, it’s very disappointing. But to get a chance to get back on that field and feel like I contributed, that felt great tonight.”

    Castillo played a key role in a defense that forced three turnovers, allowed just three points and gave up only 225 total yards to the Broncos. Several of his teammates described the emotional lift from having Castillo back on the field.

    “He’s the kind of guy that you know is going to play hard,” linebacker Shawne Merriman said. “You know you are going to get everything out of him on every play. We’re just glad to have him back on the defense because he’s such a big part of it.”

    During his time on the sideline, the most difficult thing for Castillo to cope with was the fact that he hasn’t been on the field with his teammates as they’ve gotten hot and won five-consecutive contests.

    “I’ve come into this locker room the last four games that we’ve won and it’s such an empty feeling inside because you weren’t there,” Castillo said. “You weren’t a part of it. To feel like you had something to do with it is such a good feeling.”

    Castillo hopes to see his workload increase next week when the Bolts travel to Oakland for their regular season finale. He admitted that he’s still battling physically, but the emotional rush from being back on the field pushed him through Monday night.

    “To go out there all of the sudden and not feel 100 percent, you still have a lot of pain in it, it was tough,” Castillo said. “It also felt so special. To be able to have a chance to get back on that field and be part of something so special that we have going on right now and to feel like you helped this team win, I’ve missed it. Boy, I’ve missed it.”
     
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  2. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't believe Castillo and Merriman were on the field and in the game last night. Merriman is playing like a man possesed right now and I'm sure he'd love another shot at the Titans. :yes:
     
  3. PhillyChargerFan

    PhillyChargerFan Well-Known Member

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    Castillo played GREAT last night!!! He's a 3-4 DE MANSTER when healthy :yes:
     
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    The team is peaking and the key dudes are getting healthy and come back on the scene at exactly the right time. The stars are aligning themselves in the right way. Nows the time for the Colts and the Titans to beat the bejeezus out of each other. Hope the refs behave in that game like they did in ours.
     
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  5. PhillyChargerFan

    PhillyChargerFan Well-Known Member

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    I'm not worried about the Colts, Titans or even the Pats, The Jags however scare the HELL out of me :yes:
     
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    The Jags concern me most, too. I think they may be playing the best ball of anyone right now.

    Glad we're getting healthy & remaining on a winning roll. :tup:

    Let's do this. Bolts! :bolt:
     

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