Once again the Eagles are making a move for a member of the Giants coaching staff, this time defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
He was the defensive coordinator of one of the worst units in NFL history. But somehow, Steve Spagnuolo is still in demand.
On Sunday, the Giants defensive coordinator was suddenly an option for the Philadelphia Eagles, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The Giants have given plenty of indications that they would like to retain Spagnuolo next season, although the veteran coordinator has ties to the Eagles and incoming Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson as well.
Spagnuolo has one year remaining on his contract with the Giants. It was unclear whether the Eagles had obtained permission to interview Spagnuolo from Big Blue just yet.
It’s just the latest time this offseason that the Eagles and Giants have battled for coaching talent. Newly minted Giants head coach Ben McAdoo was also an option for the vacant Eagles job, something that Giants co-owner John Mara admitted “accelerated” the pace of negotiations with McAdoo. The Eagles also considered former Giants coach Tom Coughlin for the job, before Coughlin pulled his own name out of the running late last week, helping pave the way for the hiring of Pederson, who just finished his tenure as Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator on Saturday.
Several names have become clear on McAdoo’s first coaching staff, and on Friday, Spagnuolo seemed a good bet to return. Both McAdoo and co-owner John Mara made it clear that they were hoping for Spagnuolo to be back in East Rutherford.
Mara spoke of the value of Spagnuolo, who spent three years as St. Louis Rams head coach, on Friday.
“He (McAdoo) is smart enough to understand and I think he will surround himself with the right people and he’s got a resource in Spagnuolo here who’s been a head coach,” Mara said. “I’m sure Steve will help him a little bit.”
And while McAdoo did his best to insist that his entire coaching staff was a “fluid” work in progress, he did hint that he was planning on having Spagnuolo back, talking of how defenders would “benefit” from a “second year” in the same defensive system. Spagnuolo remains beloved in East Rutherford, and he was the second coach interviewed for the team’s head vacancy after Coughlin stepped down in early January.
All this for a coach who ran a historically nightmarish unit in 2015. Spagnuolo returned to the Giants in 2015 and guided a defense that yielded 6,725 total yards, third-worst in the history of the NFL. Spagnuolo was also the defensive coordinator of the worst ‘D’ in the history of football, the 2012 New Orleans Saints, who surrendered , 7,042 total yards.
Still, both McAdoo and Pederson are first-time head coaches, and Spagnuolo can offer valuable experience on either sideline.
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