Blog Entry

Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:27 am
Edited on: January 2, 2012 11:28 am
 
The coaching hot seat begins to claim victims: St. Louis dumps Steve Spagnuolo after three seasons

By Ryan Wilson

Steve Spagnuolo made his name during Super Bowl XLII, when he devised a game plan to stop the thought-to-be-unstoppable 2007 New England Patriots, who were 18-0 heading into the championship game and went back to Foxboro 18-1. A year later, Spagnuolo replaced Jim Haslett (who had replaced Scott Linehan) as the Rams head coach.

Now, three years later, he'll be replaced by the next guy the organization thinks can save the Rams. On Monday, St. Louis fired Spagnuolo after going 10-38 in three season, including one win in '09 and two in '11. The news was first reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.

Much like Raheem Morris in Tampa Bay, Spagnuolo may have been a victim of his own success. In 2010, the Rams were 7-9 and a Week 17 victory away from winning the division and going to the playoffs for the first time since 2004 (where, incidentally, they qualified as an 8-8 team). Now St. Louis is headed for the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft two years after they selected quarterback Sam Bradford with the first-overall pick.

"We considered some very qualified and outstanding candidates for this position but we kept coming back to Steve Spagnuolo," General Manager Billy Devaney said in January 2009. "Steve has been on some outstanding defensive staffs during his 10 seasons in the NFL. He represented what we were looking for."

And that was the plan: Spags would bolster the Rams' porous defense (in 2008, they were 30th, according to Football Ousiders; 27th against the pass, 32nd against the run). Except that didn't happen: St. Louis ranked 31st in '09, 20th in '10 and 19th in '11. It was an improvement, but clearly not enough to change the Rams' fortunes. Exacerbating matters: the offense was worse, even with Bradford under center for parts of the last two seasons.

(Before Spags) 2008 - 32nd overall, 32nd passing, 29th rushing
(With Spags) 2009 - 32nd, 32nd, 25th
2010 - 30th, 27th, 31st
2011 - 32nd, 31st, 32nd

Now what? There were reports last week that Jon Gruden and A.J. Smith could be headed to St. Louis but Gruden said later that he's returning to ESPN. So the Rams will look elsewhere. As for Spagnuolo, he could end up in Philadelphia as the Eagles' defensive coordinator.

That could mean curtains for Eagles incumbent Juan Castillo, the longtime offensive assistant hired as the defensive coordinator prior to the season. There were reports earlier this month that Reid's future in Philly was contingent on parting ways with Castillo. (Reid later denied it.)  Of course, Castillo could return to coaching the offensive line, a position he held from 1998-2010 in Philly. As for Spags' imminent arrival, there are some logistics to take care of first.

Spags is certainly qualified for the job but the Eagles also have Jim Washburn as their defensive line coach. Washburn came to Philly from Tennessee and he brought the "wide nine" with him. It's a scheme built on getting pressure from the front four and involves little blitzing. Spags was a zone-blitzing maniac during his DC days.

Whatever happens, Spagnuolo's talents will be in demand. And if he again proves himself as a coordinator he'll likely get another chance at a head-coaching gig down the line.

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Comments

Since: Mar 14, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 3:20 pm
 

Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Aren't the Iggles something like 8 or 9 in overall defense? (after further googling, it was 8th)
Why are these people on Castillo's balls?



Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:44 am
 

Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

I'll bet he goes where he's needed most: New England or Green Bay. Success with these high profile jobs will set him up to be a head coach again.



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:21 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Spags can't go to birds, they have pushed the Giants around enough.  With Spags the Giants will be in trouble.  Maybe the Giants will take hime back!?
hey, i dont want him going there either, but i really think he goes back there.



Since: May 17, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:00 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Spags can't go to birds, they have pushed the Giants around enough.  With Spags the Giants will be in trouble.  Maybe the Giants will take hime back!?



Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:59 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Good riddance Spagnuolo.  Instant karma came to get you.  Fire the equipment manager earlier in the year as a scapegoat for the team's failures (a person that had decades of service to the organization) gets you what you deserve.   Spagnuolo, you are a low-life. 



Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:56 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

but Andy Reid may not have a job with Philly.... 
if that's the case then the Eagles are a dumb team because Reid should get one more year.



Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:50 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

i feel sorry for spags bc he looked to be turning it around after last season. the injuries, the lockout, and the new offensive coordinator sealed his fate. please no more coordinators. martz, leinanhan, and spags didnt work out. we need a legit head coach. the buzz is fischer will be pursued gives me some reason to look to the future. we need offensive line help even though we wasted high picks on this last couple years. w/ that being said, they better take a WR or a corner thats a patrick peterson type w/ the 2nd pick of the draft. please dont screw this up!



Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:49 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Those who live by the axe, die by the axe.  No pity for someone who fired people as indiscriminatley as he did when he came to St. Louis and set a culture of "fear for your job" and had absolutely no success.  Good ridance and take Devaney with you.



Since: Mar 18, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:47 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Finally!!  This time bring in a HEAD COACH not just a coordinator!!



Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:35 am
 

Report: Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

Spags has a job with Andy Reid, but Andy Reid may not have a job with Philly.... 


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