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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Steve Spagnuolo Fired

Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was fired today, in one of the first moves made by reinstated head coach Sean Payton.

There were rumblings of such a move following the season, and things didn't work out the way they expected with Spagnuolo.   To make it more bizarre, the Saints are going to the 3-4 (but haven't hired a coach), which seems like a terrible fit.

Spagnuolo is interesting here: he was a defensive assistant (third tier coach) with the Eagles 99-00, becoming assistant DBs coach in 01-02 under Leslie Frazier, and then succeeding him in 03 (when he went to be the first DC under Marvin Lewis), before moving to LBs coach in 2004 (when Ron Rivera moved to be DC under Lovie Smith).

To further that, Sean McDermott more or less followed Spagnuolo up the tree, taking the defensive assistant job (from a scouting position) in 2001 when Spags became Asst DBs coach; he took over LBs coach when Spags went to the Giants in 2007.

So, short answer, he assisted Ron Rivera and worked alongside McDermott.

Now, all that happened under Andy Reid, but Reid has chosen to keep existing LBs coach Gary Gibbs and DBs coach Emmitt Thomas.  Spagnuolo's versatility and experience probably puts him in line for various positions, but it wouldn't be the worst thing to have him here, either.

Regardless, a year ago I was fairly worried by the Saints' hire of Spagnuolo (and the Falcons' seeming upgrade of Mike Nolan), and yet neither worked out so well.
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