Tag:Steve Spagnuolo
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:46 pm

Spags a big fan of McDaniels

From Eye on Football staff report

INDIANAPOLIS – When Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was looking to replace departed offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur – who, as you know, landed the head coaching job in Cleveland – he wanted to find a replacement who he would hate to face off against on the opposite sideline.

That’s why, he told reporters during his NFL combine news conference today, he went after recently-fired Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels.

“In the Rolodex in my head, I tried to think of the guys who were toughest to defend, guys I’ve gone against,” Spagnuolo said. “Josh jumped right out there.”

Spagnuolo respected the work done by McDaniels in regard to Patriots QB Tom Brady and Chiefs QB Matt Cassel – McDaniels worked with both as the offensive coordinator in New England – and Spagnuolo admitted McDaniels’ success with that duo is a major reason he wanted to hire him.

The fact McDaniels was unimpressive as a head coach obviously didn’t sway Spagnuolo’s mind. And why should it? McDaniels, thus far in his career, is a much better coordinator than a head coach.

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Posted on: January 15, 2011 2:59 pm

The truth about the '07 NYG-NE season finale

Posted by Andy Benoit

Warning to Giants fans and football purists: there’s a chance that reading this story will feel a little like finding out that you’re your significant other was just being nice when he or she said they loved the first meal you ever cooked them.

Remember that epic 2007 Week 17 Saturday night thriller between the New York Giants and the undefeated New England Patriots? That was the game where both teams played their hearts out even though neither technically needed to win (both had already locked up their respective playoff spots). Everyone understood that the Patriots’ hearty effort stemmed from their desire to register the first 16-0 season in NFL history. But the Giants? They played all-out simply out of passion and principle. For that, they were lauded by football fans worldwide. After all, THAT’S what it’s all about – THAT’S what warriors who play this great game stand for!

But what if the story was farcical?

"Well, I'll let you in on a little bit of a secret," former Giants defensive coordinator and current Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo recently said, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. "You know, as much as we wanted to win that game -- all of us did -- and we played it to win it, we made a decision defensively we weren't going to jeopardize trying to win the Tampa Bay game (in the first round of the playoffs) by throwing out our whole game plan in the 16th game of the season. So there was a little bit of a pullback there."

So the Giants played hard, but they didn’t technically play all-out.

"I remember as close as we got to winning that game I felt a little bit bad about not throwing a little bit more at them in an attempt to win the thing," Spagnuolo said.

As is the case when your significant other admits to not having actually loved that first meal, knowing now that everything turned out just fine in the end allows you to still smile about the disappointing news.

“(The Patriots) were better than us that day and they should have won,” Spagnuolo added. “But we did some different things in the Super Bowl that we didn't do at all in the 16th game. I don't know if that helped or not, but we'd like to think it did."

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:58 am

Hot Routes 11.23.10: Wade Phillips is Tom Landry?

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Wade Phillips is probably a bitter dude right now -- not only did his team totally give up on him, but the guy (Jason Garrett) that Jerry Jones hired to help Wade seemingly feigned offensive incompetence for the entire time Wade was in charge, only to "discover" his genius after taking over the team. Anyway, Wade's not going out like that, yo. He said he'd take a defensive coordinator position in the future and also pointed out that he "went out with the same winning percentage as Tom Landry." 
Posted on: October 25, 2010 8:15 pm

S-Jax has finger surgery, 'shouldn't miss a beat'

Posted by Will Brinson

Steven Jackson had a quickie finger surgery on Monday to repair a crack in his left hand ring finger.

Jackson, who had two pins inserted into the finger, apparently suffered the injury during St. Louis' loss to the Buccaneers, but didn't leave the game.

"He didn't think it was a big deal; he kept playing," coach Steve Spagnuolo said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The star running back even let everyone know he was fine, via Twitter.

"It has been a busy day," Jackson tweeted. "Yes, I had surgery on my ring finger but I shouldn't miss a beat."

Considering that Jackson was able to tweet a message to fans, he's probably fine. After all, everyone knows you can't use Twitter without having two hands. No, but seriously, the team thinks he's fine and is "hopeful" that he can play Sunday when the Panthers visit.

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Posted on: August 28, 2010 12:22 am
Edited on: August 28, 2010 10:30 am

Should Rams target Vincent Jackson?

Posted by Will Brinson

It's a question that has to be reasonably asked, particularly after news broke on Friday evening that Donnie Avery -- the closest thing St. Louis had to a No. 1 wideout -- will miss the entire 2010 season .

It's at least worth considering for a number of reasons. First of all, Jackson, for all his off-field issues, grew into a premiere wideout with Philip Rivers and could potentially do the same with Sam Bradford, if the Rams could justify spending upwards of $10 million a year on him.

The justification there is that you don't want to be forced into lobbing a $50 million investment onto the field with no one to throw to; and honestly, Bradford/Steven Jackson/V-Jax at least has the beginnings of a pretty formidable offensive core, especially if Roger Saffold and Jason Smith can develop.

Secondly, the Rams would at least seem like a team that the Chargers might be interested in talking trade with -- it's likely that their second-rounder (the reported pick needed to swap for Jackson) would be high-value enough to warrant making the swap, and it's hard to make a case for why San Diego wouldn't be willing to speak with St. Louis, who resides in the same division as Seattle, a team that DID get the opportunity to talk with Jackson's agent Neil Schwartz about a deal.

Jeff Gordon of STL Today makes a solid point too : new Rams' owner Stan Kroenke might be willing to pony up some cash on his new franchise. After all, if you have the equivalent of a really expensive Hyundai in his garage right now -- if you're gonna drop that kind of coin on a semi-decent-but-potentially-lame car, why not going ahead and throw some rims on that puppy?

Jackson, of course, will miss at least three games during the regular season, and that's kind of a nightmare. But no one's expecting the Rams to win the Super Bowl, much less contend in the NFC West, so in the long-term, those three games aren't dealbreakers, especially if you can leverage Jackson's issues into a contract with plenty of incentives.

With Jackson seeming quite willing to sit out the entire season in San Diego and lose a year towards free agency, there's no reason to think he'd be upset about having to take roughly 10 paces backwards in terms of pursuing a championship, particularly if it meant he got paid.

And yes, you can expect to read a "[NFL Team] should go after Vincent Jackson" piece every time someone loses their top wideout for the majority/all of the season. With Jackson's status, that's just how things are going to roll.

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 6:15 pm

Rams say Avery done for year; no QB starter yet

Posted by Will Brinson

Donnie Avery was carted off after hitting his knee on the turf while trying to make a catch during the Rams-Patriots preseason game on Thursday and we mentioned last night that reports were surfacing that Avery could be out for the year.

Turns out, the worst case news is now official -- the Rams' Twitter account announced the news via head coach Steve Spagnuolo.

"WR Donnie Avery has torn ACL, will wait a little for surgery. He's out for the season."

@OneRamsWay later tweeted that "A.J. Feeley out again this week. Spagnuolo says Bradford will start again."

They did add, though, that Bradford's time would be more limited than it was against the Patriots and that the team is "not ready to make a decision on a starting QB right now."

While Bradford's strong performance certainly helps make the potential decision to throw him into the fire easier, the loss of Avery also makes it a little bit harder (presuming, of course, that they want him to have the best available opportunity to succeed).

Provided that Bradford can play as well against the Ravens next Thursday as he did against the Rams, though, it's going to be pretty tough to keep him on the bench for what amounts to an easy opening slate for St. Louis.

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Posted on: August 20, 2010 12:36 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 12:37 pm

Bradford trying to blend in

S. Bradford doesn't need to be the face of the St. Louis organization quite yet (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Don’t call Sam Bradford the face of the Rams organization. Just because he’s getting paid an obscene amount of guaranteed money from said organization, he doesn’t look at himself as the No. 1 player St. Louis will count on in order to return to NFL respectability.

He’s pretty adamant about it, actually.

"I think that's ridiculous,” Bradford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . "I don't think one person is any face of the franchise. It takes 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense and however many guys you have playing special teams to win a football game. That's how I look at it. And I wish more people would look at it like that."

Well, not everybody was a No. 1 overall pick and not everybody signs a $78 million contract, the richest ever for a rookie. From that aspect, perhaps Bradford should have more of a burden to be the face of the organization.

The Rams, though, are being careful with their high-priced draft pick. They decided not to build a marketing campaign around him – a good move if coach Steve Spagnuolo decides to keep A.J. Feeley as the No. 1 QB for the time being – and they’re trying to limit the number of interviews he must endure.

As Spagnuolo says, the club is trying not to overwhelm the rookie. For now, Bradford appreciates it.

"We want him to become acclimated to the life of being an NFL player, focus on being in training camp, focus on being a better player, a better teammate, and really have all of his attention be on the field," Kevin Demoff, the club's vice president of football operations, told the paper. "I think his name, the buzz, the recognition, it's all organic; we don't need to do anything to help it. And we don't want to take advantage of him."

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Posted on: August 5, 2010 11:12 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 11:15 am

Sam Bradford working primarily with 2nd team

Posted by Will Brinson

The biggest issue facing Rams' head coach Steve Spagnuolo in 2010 has to be when he'll play Sam Bradford. (Yes, winning more than one game is also up there, but when a team starts losing, which the Rams will likely do, fans start wanting to see their expensive new toy.)

From the sound of things, it certainly won't be Week 1, when St. Louis welcomes division rival Arizona. That's because Bradford appears to be, more or less, rooted in the second team offense .

"He's had some good throws and some bad ones. He threw one into the wind (Wednesday) that kind of floated up there. I'm sure he wanted that one back," Spagnuolo said. "I do like the fact that when he makes a mistake, he's not very happy and he shows it. He's got some feisty to him. I think that's good in a quarterback."

Bradford acknowledged the growing pains, pointing out dealing with a slew of "different blitz pickups" is "something I need to work on." (The team put the blitz heat on Bradford during a Sunday practice -- his response was to acknowledge that he struggled a bit.)

The Rams face an interesting scenario, though -- they start out with a fairly weak schedule (ARI, at OAK, WAS, SEA, at DET) that wouldn't be a horrible way for a rookie quarterback to start off his career.

At the same time, though, if A.J. Feeley can just not implode in those games, there's no reason to think the Rams can't compete to keep their collective head above water for a while. And with the immediate post-bye schedule (at SF, ATL, at DEN, at ARI, at NO) looking much, much tougher than the first five games of the season, if Feeley can manage to be manageable, there's a decent chance that we don't see Bradford until the final stretch run of the year.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com