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Steve Spagnuolo Fired by New Orleans Saints: Will New York Giants Pursue Him?

January 25th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Paul Tierney

The New Orleans Saints fired defensive coordinator Steve Spaguolo, who was unable to take an already lackluster defense and transform them into a productive unit, on Thursday evening. In fact, the Saints defense finished 2012 as the worst statistical defense in NFL history, giving up over 7,000 yards of total offense. Spagnuolo was the Giants defensive coordinator for their 2007 Super Bowl run, as he was able to hold the 2007 New England Patriots offense to just 13 points. However, he has not had much success after leaving Big Blue. This is his second time being fired in as many seasons.

Given Spagnuolo's history with the Giants, the question becomes whether or not Big Blue will pursue him to serve the team in any capacity for the upcoming season. For a multitude of reasons, it's extremely unlikely that the Giants will consider bringing Spagnuolo back in any role for their 2013 campaign.

First off, the Philadelphia Eagles still need a defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo began his coaching career in Philly as the defensive backs and linebacker coach under Jim Johnson in 1999. As long as Philadelphia is planning to run a 4-3 defense next season, Spagnuolo is a very competitive candidate to get the job. As the NFL coaching carousel begins to cool off, the Eagles may be the only chance Spagnuolo has of remaining a defensive coordinator next season. Even if the Giants did want to bring Spags back onto the staff, the Eagles will be a more attractive option to him.

However, the most significant reason that Big Blue will not pursue Spagnuolo is because they already have a defensive coordinator. The Giants have already began preparing for 2013 under the assumption that Perry Fewell will be the defensive coordinator. Fewell's defense struggled mightily this season; but he's just a year removed from winning a Super Bowl of his own. The Giants have had success under Fewell and it's incredibly unlikely that they would change defensive coordinators this late in the ballgame.

Although Spagnuolo could be an effective defensive line or defensive backs coach for the Giants, that scenario looks a lot better on paper than it does in practicality. Not only would it be a tremendously awkward situation for the coaching staff, but it could create a sense of instability among the players as well. Everyone in the room would know that Spagnuolo is eyeing the defensive coordinator position. That's not a good dynamic for any locker room.

Barring some extremely unforeseen circumstances playing out over the next few days, do not expect the Giants to make any phone calls to Steve Spagnuolo. Perry Fewell may be on the hot seat next season, but he's earned the right to fix this defense in 2013. The talent will be there, it's just a matter of execution at this point.


Tags: Football, John, New Orleans, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Philadelphia Eagles, Steve Spagnuolo

20 Responses to “Steve Spagnuolo Fired by New Orleans Saints: Will New York Giants Pursue Him?”

  1.  Chad Eldred says:

    It’s tough to let go of the past.

  2.  kujo says:

    What’s more likely to happen:

    1) The Giants make a blockbuster trade for Darelle Revis

    2) The Giants hire Steve Spagnuolo as some sort of defensive consultant

    3) Israel and Palestine throwing down their arms and acknowledging that their 2000+ year war is nothing more than a squable over real estate, and that they really are cultural cousins.

  3.  Krow says:

    Zero chance …

    I’m no Fewell fan … neither am I a Fewell hater. I don’t like his schemes and his hard headed approach to jamming our personnel into them … but he’s not incompetent. I suspect the team would play better doing what Spagnuolo does. I think he’s a far better fit for us. This year our D played like garbage under Fewell. One of the worst showings in the NFL.

    However … there’s no way we hire Spags.

    It’s way too bold a move for a conservative organization. Way too disruptive. And I’m not sure how Spags left it with Reese, Coughlin, and Mara. I don’t get the impression they’re all BFFs. You never hear Spags getting invited to any of the sleepovers Tom Coughlin holds. The Maras never have him over for tea. Reese never mentions him at all.

    Spags is going to the Eagles where he will design blitzes to attack Eli while our D continues to bend and break.

  4.  GOAT56 says:


    The problem is that it WAS a perfect marriage. But that was then and it’s 4 years later now. Even if Webster returns only him and Tuck were starters when Spags was here. We have different players with different strengths and weaknesses. Maybe Fewell scheme is wrong for these players but it doesn’t mean that Spags would be right.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    While I know a player like Kindle might still have some useful NFL talent, I’m not in favor of signing him for several reasons:

    1) He is in many ways a carbon copy of Sintim who was also a bad fit as a 4-3 SLB.
    2) He has never played DE so I’m not sure he could be anything more than a pass rusher and I don’t think he’s that strong in that regard.
    3) The Ravens gave up on him as a second round pick. Newsome is an elite GM and they always draft well so when they give up on a second round pick it really means something. Not to say they can’t be wrong but it’s more like what happens when we cut draft picks.

    •  F0XLIN says:

      It was a given there would be a progression for Sintim to move to the 4-3, he was starting to come on prior to his knee injuries

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      It’s just part of the ongoing process of scouring the scrap heap looking for treasure. I’m a frugal person by nature, so I love the fact that this organization is always looking for hidden treasures. You won’t strike gold every time, but the fact that we get production out of guys like Stevie Brown and of course, Victor Cruz is not an accident. It’s a function of diligence and a keen eye for potential.

  6.  demo3356 says:

    Love Spags and love his system.. That said there is ZERO % chance he comes back

  7.  Dave says:

    In a perfect world I Think Steve and Perry should work together Let steve be the Asst.DC and Perry keep the DC title. I think we would be better off this way, but thats just me

  8.  TuckThis says:

    In a perfect world we wouldn’t have lost to the Cowboys, Bengals or Steelers.

  9.  demo3356 says:

    Spags will be the Eagles DC and he is a PERFECT fit for their talent. They have a bunch of studs on the DL and 2 physical man press corners on the outside. They will struggle early but be a force defensively by the end of the year.
    I know its been mentioned that Kelly wants to run a 3/4 but they have nowhere near the personnel to run a 3/4 without a complete overhaul of the defense. Spags is a perfect fit for their personnel

    •  Krow says:

      Sad but true. And Chip Kelly will steal the credit like he has with the Pistol, where he pretends he thought of it.

      •  Levito says:

        Possibly, but I still doubt it. With Reid gone, Spags probably doesn’t really have many ties to Philly anymore. And after the pitiful performance of the Saints defense this past season, along with his underwhelming performance as HC of the Rams, Spags might have to become a position coach somewhere again before he gets another chance.

        If all else fails for him, I’d like to have him back on the Giants coaching staff somewhere, but I don’t think it’ll ever happen.

  10.  sonnymooks says:

    I believe Chip Kelly is going with a 3-4, not sure where I read that, but am pretty sure I did read that.

    That said, who does Spags have ties to in Philly anymore ? Everyone he knew is gone.

    I don’t think he is coming back to the Giants this year, but his scheme matches up with the current talent far far better then Fewells does. It was a perfect marriage a few years ago, but just looking at the roster now, and going player by player, its clear that it would work just as well today.

    The Giants do NOT draft players to fit the cover 2 scheme, they draft the best available defensive players and leave it up to the coaches to fit them in.

    Fewells scheme is like a lot of round holes, problem is, the giants players are a bunch of square pegs.

    Spags scheme is all about square holes. Its an attacking, aggressive defense, that utilizes zones but gets creative with the LBs and the DL, and occasionaly blitzes with DBs.

    Fewell blitizes with LB on rare occasions and pretty much has no use for pass rushing skills that LBs have, forget about blitzing ability out of the DBs.

    Bringing Spags back, makes to much sense, which is part of the reason it won’t happen. Its disruptive.

    Ironically, Fewell would probably be a top ranked DC if he was in chicago or somewhere where the talent has been drafted and acquired to play his scheme.

    Fewell isn’t so much imcompetant, he is stubborn and a scheme coach, who tries to force his players into a scheme that does not fit them, and has no use and no intention of utilizing any skills that players have that does not fit into his system.He adapts his players to the playbook, NOT the other way around.

    This system, does work, when you have the talent for it, the Giants don’t tailor their draft process for it (which is good), but the players they do go for, fit the Spags/Jim Johnson scheme like a glove (and not the O.J. glove).

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