City Sports Report

Steve Spagnuolo, the New York Giants has winning ‘ring’ to it


The New York Giants have been looking for a new defensive coordinator since parting ways with Perry Fewell after this season. They may have found one in the form of a familiar face by the name of Steve Spagnuolo.

Spagnuolo just wrapped up his second season as a defensive coach with the Baltimore Ravens. Now that the Ravens have been eliminated from the playoffs, the Giants have reportedly received permission to interview Spagnuolo for a potential return to the team he helped win a Super Bowl title.

This is an ideal time for both sides to have a reunion. The lack of a consistent pass rush helped contribute to the problems the Giants encountered defensively in 2014. The failures of their defense, ranked near the bottom of the NFL this past season, cost Fewell his job. For the Giants, going with Spagnuolo would maintain a sense of familiarity for head coach Tom Coughlin within his coaching staff. Spagnuolo is a big reason why Michael Strahan was able to end his Hall of Fame career with a Super Bowl ring. As defensive coordinator for Coughlin in 2007, Spagnuolo’s aggressive, blitz-heavy scheme helped sack Tom Brady five times in the Giants Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. Spagnuolo eventually moved on to become an NFL head coach with the St. Louis Rams, but was fired in 2011 after three unsuccessful seasons. While Spagnuolo has since been able to secure assistant jobs with the New Orleans Saints and Ravens, he achieved his greatest success with the Giants.

Spagnuolo found success in 2007 and 2008 with a stacked Giants defense that featured Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Antonio Pierce, and Mathias Kiwanuka. However, this Giants team doesn’t have anywhere near the depth of those teams. Decisions on contracts for Jason Pierre-Paul, Kiwanuka, Jon Beason, and Antrelle Rolle will have to be addressed in the offseason. Depending on how the Giants address their defensive personnel, Coughlin could have in Spagnuolo the right man at the right time for a unit that clearly tuned out Fewell’s message.

2015 is most likely a playoffs or bust season for Coughlin, and hiring Steve Spagnuolo would also bring credibility. He not only knows what Coughlin expects of his coaches, he’s also shown that he knows what it takes to win in New York. If it turns out he’s interested in returning to the Giants, I’m not sure the timing couldn’t be better than now for both sides.

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