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Would Steve Spagnuolo Be a Likely Replacement Option for New York Giants If Perry Fewell Leaves?

January 6th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Douglas Rush

On Monday, current New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will have his first interview for a head coaching vacancy in a few years as he will meet with Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen of the Washington Redskins. 

The Redskins' job opened up the day after their 20-6 defeat at the hands of the Giants at MetLife Stadium and was the final game for Mike Shanahan, who was fired after a 3-13 campaign in 2013 and had public issues with franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III. Thus, after four seasons, Shanahan was let go and the Redskins are in search of  a new voice to lead then and Fewell is one of their candidates.

It's not certain if Fewell will interview with any other team after he meets with the Redskins on Monday, or if Washington simply chooses to hire him right on the spot following the interview, it will leave the Giants short of another coordinator that Tom Coughlin would have to hire.

If, and only if Fewell does get a head coaching opportunity and leaves the Giants, could his departure open the door for a former defensive coordinator to return to the team after being gone for six years in Steve Spagnuolo?

Most Giants fans know Spagnuolo very well going back to when he was the defensive coordinator of the team in 2007 and masterminded the defense that slowed down Tom Brady and the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. After staying with the Giants for one more season, Spagnuolo left the Giants following the 2008 season to take over as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, but his tenure with the Rams wasn't a very memorable one as he went 10-38 in his three years with the team and was fired after the 2011 season.

In 2012, Spagnuolo served as the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints under interim head coach Joe Vitt while Sean Payton was suspended for the season due to "Bountygate" and with Payton not around, Spagnuolo wasn't able to use the defense that gave him success in the league and particularly, with the Giants, and thus, the Saints defense was ranked one of the worst in the NFL and finished with a 7-9 season. Spagnuolo was fired after one season because Payton wanted to switch to a 3-4 defense and hired Rob Ryan to take over that scheme.

This past year, Spagnuolo was a defensive assistant for the Baltimore Ravens under their defensive coordinator Dean Pees, but after a year away from being a primary coach in the league, Spagnuolo could be ready to jump back into the coordinator job mix and more importantly, take back the job that he vacated in 2008.

Under Fewell this year, the Giants finished eighth in the league in defense and at times, looked like one of the most dominant units in the league. With Spagnuolo and his aggressiveness that he brings, the Giants could see more of that same success, plus the same success that they had when he was here in 2007-2008.

Coughlin tends to hire coaches that he knows and has familiarity with, just like Fewell and Kevin Gilbride, both of which were his assistant coaches with the Jacksonville Jaguars. If Fewell were to leave and Coughlin has to pick a new defensive coordinator, he might look to bring in that same familiar name that he knows and can trust to run the defense, especially one that won a Super Bowl six years ago.

photo credit: Darin House via photopin cc


Tags: Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Steve Spagnuolo, Tom Coughlin

3 Responses to “Would Steve Spagnuolo Be a Likely Replacement Option for New York Giants If Perry Fewell Leaves?”

  1.  Krow says:

    Perry Fewell is a fine coach. I may not like his puzzy style of defense, but the man can coach. However he’s not going anywhere unless we fire him … which we won’t. We’re concentrating on offense. So this discussion is academic.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    I agree with Krow & Kujo that it’s unlikely Fewell is gone but it’s possible. Like I said before I think Fewell will make a better head coach than coordinator. He seems like a CEO more than an innovator which can work well is the top man.

    The infatuation with Spags should be over. He had a great run here but he’s been horrible since he left. He can’t even get a DC job in the NFL right now and we should want him back? I don’t get it. Fans want Spags but hate Gillbride when Gillbride has had a TON more success in the NFL.

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