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Report: Philly will hire Steve Spagnuolo if he’s available

Steve Spagnuolo AP

Late Monday night, Florio posted on a report that Jon Gruden and A.J. Smith could be headed to St. Louis as part of a package deal to replace Steve Spagnuolo and Billy Devaney as coach and general manager.

That report by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune also offered some information about Spagnuolo’s possible landing spot if he is relieved of his duties with the Rams. Per Acee, league sources are saying it is “all but certain” that Spagnuolo would return to Philadelphia as part of Andy Reid’s coaching staff as defensive coordinator.

Spagnuolo served as a defensive assistant under the late Jim Johnson from 1999-2006 when he left to run the defense for the Giants. His return would spell an end to the Juan Castillo experiment, obviously, and would signal a return to the blitz-happy system that Johnson ran while he was in charge of the Eagles defense.

That would be a big shift from the system put in place by Castillo and defensive line coach Jim Washburn this season. The “Wide-9″ scheme favors creating pressure by rushing four men, so a return by Spagnuolo would likely necessitate installing a whole new approach for the second straight season. The Eagles have shown marked improvement defensively in the last few weeks, but the early season struggles could still lead to a move back to a more familiar system come 2012.

Should Spagnuolo get fired in St. Louis, there figure to be plenty of teams interested in bringing him aboard to help their defense. Whether or not Philly is at the front of that list remains to be seen.

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67 Responses to “Report: Philly will hire Steve Spagnuolo if he’s available”
  1. pixelito says: Dec 27, 2011 1:55 PM

    If the Giants are firing Fewell, I have an even better headline.

  2. tos420 says: Dec 27, 2011 1:55 PM

    Shocking that making the offensive line coach the defensive coordinator isn’t working out too well.

  3. sicklife1 says: Dec 27, 2011 1:57 PM

    Come back to the Giants Spag’s….PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. trbowman says: Dec 27, 2011 1:59 PM

    I’m about as qualified as Castillo was to coordinate a defense.

  5. skipbayless says: Dec 27, 2011 2:00 PM

    Get it Done Please.

  6. The Baseball Gods says: Dec 27, 2011 2:02 PM

    There might be a lot of teams interested in him, but considering he was on the Eagles staff from 1999-2006 and still makes his home in the Philadelphia area, I don’t think there would be any other more logical location for him to land.

  7. americankris says: Dec 27, 2011 2:05 PM

    Next to Pyor going to the raiders as one of the worst kept secrets of the year

  8. tatatoothy says: Dec 27, 2011 2:08 PM

    Kevin Acee is ALL OVER the place today. First the Gruden news, now this?

    Someone has good sources…

  9. bdawk20 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:11 PM

    Spags is always on Philly radio talking about how much he loves Philly and how it will always be his family’s home- unless the Eagles keep Castillo, Spags will not be the Giants D Coordinator.

  10. netherscourge says: Dec 27, 2011 2:12 PM

    Spags still has a home in the Philly-area too, from what I understand.

    He calls into WIP occasionally to chat with Gargano and MacNow on during the afternoon show.

    And BTW – if Reid can’t get it done by 2013, Spags is a very convenient replacement…. HINT HINT

  11. mad55555 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:13 PM

    Philly letting this man go is single handedly responsible for the NJ gints getting a sb ring in 2007. And now that philadelphia owns the nj gints for the past 4 years, you can say he will be coming home when he is the dc in philly and the eventual replacement of reid.

  12. fittytuckin says: Dec 27, 2011 2:14 PM

    Why in the name of gawd, would a.j. smith be employed as bad as he’s been?

  13. netherscourge says: Dec 27, 2011 2:15 PM

    The Eagles Front Office keeps very close with Spags – trust me, if he’s available, Spags will be designing blitzing schemes for the Eagles again and Juan Castillo will be working @ Chicki and Petes with Reno Mahe before the winter ends.

  14. popdawg99 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:15 PM

    “The “Wide-9″ scheme favors creating pressure by rushing four men, so a return by Spagnuolo would likely necessitate installing a whole new approach for the second straight season.”

    Umm, wouldn’t having the best pash rushing tandem in the NFL be good for any defensive scheme? I’m not sure how a d-lineman’s stance (which is what the Wide-9 refers to) correlates to an inability to blitz.

  15. bigpara says: Dec 27, 2011 2:16 PM

    Spags ain’t going no where’s. All them injuries the Rams had will give him a free pass for this year. Gruden isn’t leaving MNF to the next Rams coach. Besides how much he praises Coughlin, he would come back to the Giants.

  16. shaggytoodle says: Dec 27, 2011 2:16 PM

    It looks like the Eagles are still hoping that signing familiar names, will win them a Superbowl

  17. djstat says: Dec 27, 2011 2:17 PM

    Keep in mind Andy Reid prevented Spags from becoming a D-coord. after 2005. So Spags may not be in a hurry to help him out now. Spags would do better in a place like Miami

  18. bigpara says: Dec 27, 2011 2:19 PM

    That’s funny because always comes on NY sports radio saying he loved the way they treated him when he was coaching the Giants.

  19. lunarpie says: Dec 27, 2011 2:19 PM

    2 Reasons why this is UNTRUE:

    1.) Andy Reid would have to admit that he was wrong

    2.) Juan Castillo is cheaper than Steve Spagnuolo

  20. realitypolice says: Dec 27, 2011 2:20 PM

    Never give too much weight to any of these stories.

    They are virtually always based upon pure speculation and should be treated as such.

    It is not exactly rocket science to put Spags together with the Eagles based upon their struggles defensively and his “source” is probably just someone hypothesizing out loud.

  21. clintonportisheadd says: Dec 27, 2011 2:23 PM

    How come Clayton, Schecter, Mort, and all the other folks at ESPN are silent on this?

    Its always hilarious to watch these so called “insiders” NEVER come up with a scoop when it involves folks they see EVERY FREAKIN DAY!!!!

  22. sbxxix says: Dec 27, 2011 2:25 PM

    Anything but an offensive line coach would work out well for their talented defense

  23. bdawk20 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:25 PM

    What do tou expect him to say, he had an awful time with the Giants? Let me know when he moves there and then you can talk.

  24. dragonfly99 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:30 PM

    It would make much more sense for Spagnuola to return to the Giants as their defensive coordinator. There he would have a chance to become thier head coach in a couple of years when Coughlin is let go or retires. Philadelphia will NEVER get rid of Andy Reid, who has that job as long as he wants it, even with 13 more years of mediocrity.

  25. johnshawisgay says: Dec 27, 2011 2:30 PM

    Hey Beagle fans, the problem is not the DC, it’s the guy who hired him.

    Reid took you to the SB once in his 12 years as HC and there is nothing to indicate that he will again ever…

  26. jkay1818 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:32 PM

    netherscourge says:
    Dec 27, 2011 2:12 PM
    Spags still has a home in the Philly-area too, from what I understand.

    He calls into WIP occasionally to chat with Gargano and MacNow on during the afternoon show.

    And BTW – if Reid can’t get it done by 2013, Spags is a very convenient replacement…. HINT HINT
    ____________________________________HINT HINT, Reid isn’t getting it done by 2013

  27. ronworthdubbs says: Dec 27, 2011 2:42 PM

    As a Giants fan, I love this guy. He made a championship defense with this back 7:

    Kawikia Mitchell
    Antonio Pierce
    Reggie Torbor
    Old Sam Madison
    Aaron Ross
    James Butler
    Gibril Wilson
    (plus Corey Webster when he was getting good and RW McQuarters)

    It’s one thing to blitz, it’s another to blitz and have a free runner. 9/10 times his blitz’ were so good the Giants would get that free runner. This guy is going to demand top dollar as a DC.

  28. rajbais says: Dec 27, 2011 2:43 PM

    This is not a surprise. I have heard about this from Vai Sikahema not too long ago. He also said that Andy Reid would also move Juan Castillo back to the offensive line and Howard Mudd would then retire again.

  29. lacharger2112 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:43 PM

    realitypolice says: Dec 27, 2011 2:20 PM

    Never give too much weight to any of these stories.
    ————-
    That’s why it’s called News and Rumors. This falls under the Rumor portion of the title page. It will be news AFTER something happens.

  30. n0hopeleft says: Dec 27, 2011 2:45 PM

    bdawk20 says:
    Dec 27, 2011 2:11 PM
    Spags is always on Philly radio talking about how much he loves Philly and how it will always be his family’s home- unless the Eagles keep Castillo, Spags will not be the Giants D Coordinator.

    ___________________________________

    Ya ok. He loves it sooooo much until he looks down at his right ring finger and sees a big NY logo on his giagantic diamond Superbowl ring.

    Moron.

  31. fmwarner says: Dec 27, 2011 2:47 PM

    trbowman says: Dec 27, 2011 1:59 PM

    I’m about as qualified as Castillo was to coordinate a defense.
    ================================

    Really? What pro team did you play linebacker for? What college defense did you coach?

  32. n0hopeleft says: Dec 27, 2011 2:48 PM

    popdawg99 says:
    Dec 27, 2011 2:15 PM
    “The “Wide-9″ scheme favors creating pressure by rushing four men, so a return by Spagnuolo would likely necessitate installing a whole new approach for the second straight season.”

    Umm, wouldn’t having the best pash rushing tandem in the NFL be good for any defensive scheme? I’m not sure how a d-lineman’s stance (which is what the Wide-9 refers to) correlates to an inability to blitz.

    ___________________________________

    The best pass rush in football?!?!??! HAHAHHAAHAHAHHAHAHAAAAA.

    The EMPTY TROPHY CASE CLAN strikes again!

  33. n0hopeleft says: Dec 27, 2011 2:51 PM

    mad55555 says:
    Dec 27, 2011 2:13 PM
    Philly letting this man go is single handedly responsible for the NJ gints getting a sb ring in 2007. And now that philadelphia owns the nj gints for the past 4 years, you can say he will be coming home when he is the dc in philly and the eventual replacement of reid.

    ___________________________________

    Yes you’re right. The Giants defense was responsible for putting up over 30 points on the #1 seeded Cowboys, in their house, right?

    You Eagles fans are PATHETIC.

  34. rugdog100 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:53 PM

    TAMPERING!

  35. whhaaat says: Dec 27, 2011 2:54 PM

    The funny things is there defense really isn’t that bad. They are top 10 in total yards allowed, top 15 in total rush yds. allowed, top 15 in total points allowed. I know they didn’t live up to the expectations and hype, but some teams would love to have the defensive production they had. There defensive weaknesses were exaggerated, because of a few long rushing tds they gave up early and everyone’s snap judgement. If the offense did a better job of ball security they would easily be in the 11+ wins category. That being said I would love to see spags back in philly.

  36. bobbyhoying says: Dec 27, 2011 2:54 PM

    Really? The Rams are 21st in total defense. The Eagles are 8th. What idiot came up with this story?

  37. bigbluelou says: Dec 27, 2011 2:55 PM

    Sure he can help Vick off the ground after he is hurt the umpteenth time after getting hit.

  38. n0hopeleft says: Dec 27, 2011 2:57 PM

    Philly would hire Eli Manning if he was available, but not a single ShEagles fan in the pathetic city of Philly will admit that.

    Eli = 1

    Vick, McNabb, Jaworski, etc. = 0

  39. snowpea84 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:57 PM

    Castillo did a good job considering what he was given roster wise (LB, safety, age of each), and the offseason.

    Especially considering how the defense has played of late.

    Whatever. It doesnt matter. Vick will still be the QB. So unless they actually play someone who is good at 2nd strign QB, it doesnt matter. Even Kafka would be an improvement over either of the guys they played this year.
    Reid draws up a great offense. He just enver gives himself a guy capable of simply executing it.

  40. jakek2 says: Dec 27, 2011 2:58 PM

    As a Giants’ fan, this couldn’t make me happier. For starters, Philly will have to adjust to a totally new defense. More significantly, Spags won’t have Strahan, Tuck, Osi and Pierce running his schemes. Spags is only a bandaid for that defense.

  41. laeaglefan says: Dec 27, 2011 2:59 PM

    Its quite possible that Spagnuolo will agree to a return to Philly only if he’s assured that Andy Reid will still be around as head coach for the forseeable future. So any announcement of a Spagnuolo hiring may come on the heels of a contract extension for Andy Reid. The general feeling is that management would prefer to go with the familiar rather than blowing the whole thing up and starting over with an entire new coaching staff.

  42. laeaglefan says: Dec 27, 2011 3:06 PM

    “2.) Juan Castillo is cheaper than Steve Spagnuolo”

    You get what you pay for.

  43. rajbais says: Dec 27, 2011 3:06 PM

    Andy Reid may have gone to NFC Championship games from 2001 – 2004 and 2008, but he is a declining coach!!!

    The majority of his success took place during the first half of his career. He has a declining win-loss record since the beginning of the 2009 season. Plus, he makes too many dumb decisions. Smart people do as many simple things as possible and Andy Reid does not do that!!!

    Reid has done many radical things like making Juan Castillo the defensive coordinator, using Dan Klecko as a fullback when he was a defensive tackle for the Indianapolis Colts catching goal line touchdowns, using Mike Vick as a wildcat quarterback, and he’s had a lot of in-game and decisions that are pretty dumb too (i.e. the Ronnie Brown goal line touchdown fake or whatever the hell that was or passing the ball from 1st & goal at the 5 yard line with the leading rusher in football at the time, Lesean McCoy)!!!

    Andy Reid will never win a championship in Philadelphia!!!! If he cannot do as many simple things as possible then he is not a championship coach!!! He’s Josh McDaniels!!!

  44. kevpft says: Dec 27, 2011 3:08 PM

    This would be a very smart move by the Eagles. The next smart move would be to get a real QB – not a stunt QB like Vick who, due to his unusual playing style, will be past his prime (due to age and injuries) in another year or so.

    Philly has a lot of win-now potential, but they will be grinding gears for years to come if they don’t start making some mature investments at QB and coaching positions. They and Dallas seem to be in competition for the most gimmicks that don’t work out so well.

  45. halo81 says: Dec 27, 2011 3:08 PM

    First of all, the Eagles do have the best pass rush in football. They lead the NFL in sacks and most importantly, lead the NFL in sacks from their front four; meaning they don’t have to blitz.

    The Eagles lack good play from their core and need better linebacker play.

    Spags can come in and still run Wide 9 up front. They need to get a very good MLB in and get better at safety.

  46. earthtopft says: Dec 27, 2011 3:09 PM

    If nothing else works out, Steve will be back shaking that collander at Spagnuolo & Sons Spaghetti Service.

  47. bleed4philly says: Dec 27, 2011 3:17 PM

    Eagles are #8 in total defense, while their offense is however, LAST in turning the ball over, Juanny isnt going anywhere.

  48. klor80 says: Dec 27, 2011 3:20 PM

    If Spagnuol become the DC how much improvement will they be? 2 DC in the last two yrs (3 if he is the next DC). They will have to over haul the defense personnel. Spagnoul had the right personnel when he was the DC for the Giants. I don’t think the eagles has personnel. It might take 1 yr or 2 yr to get the right personnel to fit the scheme. I don’t know if Andy Reid could last in few yrs as a head coach if they don’t make it to SB.

  49. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 27, 2011 3:23 PM

    LeBron has a home in New York, he went to Miami.

    So what?

    Spags is coming back to the Giants if the Giants fire Fewell — which is unlikely. Every one of these guys, Fewell, Spags and a couple of others who had massive injuries to their units, are going to get a pass.

    If the Giants play great defense Sunday and in the playoffs, Fewell will retain his job.

  50. 7to10for6allday says: Dec 27, 2011 3:36 PM

    I love all this hate between eagles and giants fans on here. Spags is going to Philly. I Understand he got a ring in NY but the man lives in Philly. That usually means something. Giants fans if it wasn’t for a bumass with a lucky catch you wouldn’t have won. Where’s that great player now anyway? I guarantee that I would not brag about my team years after a Super Bowl if they stink now.

  51. tdk24 says: Dec 27, 2011 3:36 PM

    Report:Tampering.

  52. lbijake says: Dec 27, 2011 3:38 PM

    Spags would be a good successor to Reid as coach. IMO, Reid is a good coach but a terrible talent evaluator on defense. Prior to this year, all the defensive stars came from Ray Rhodes era. What would really assist Philly would be a good GM.

  53. donny05 says: Dec 27, 2011 3:39 PM

    Trent Dilfer -1

  54. johnshawisgay says: Dec 27, 2011 3:48 PM

    “The general feeling is that management would prefer to go with the familiar rather than blowing the whole thing up and starting over with an entire new coaching staff.”

    Yeah, why not, that seems to be working just fine…

    Actually I hope the Eagles keep Reid as it gives the rest of our teams a week off…

  55. howley1 says: Dec 27, 2011 4:25 PM

    “I’m not sure how a d-lineman’s stance (which is what the Wide-9 refers to)”

    “Wide 9″ refers to the 9-gap, which is outside the TE.

  56. brettfavresmidget says: Dec 27, 2011 4:49 PM

    lbijake says:
    Dec 27, 2011 3:38 PM
    Spags would be a good successor to Reid as coach. IMO, Reid is a good coach but a terrible talent evaluator on defense. Prior to this year, all the defensive stars came from Ray Rhodes era. What would really assist Philly would be a good GM.

    ___________________________

    Reid is a horrible gameday coach. Philly is fine with Howie “the Accountant” as GM. I mean, who could be more qualified than an accountant as a football GM?

  57. xxakshunxx says: Dec 27, 2011 4:50 PM

    Every one of you Giants fans are morons, the only reason he left the Eagles in the first place is because they already had Jim Johnson coaching the D, if Johnson passed away and Spags was still on the Eagles he wouldve been the guy to replace him, he only went to the Giants because they had the position open for him to advance himself. He’ll be back in Philly

  58. jayquintana says: Dec 27, 2011 5:10 PM

    Jets should bring in Norv Turner as their O-Coordinator next year.

  59. ebeg420 says: Dec 27, 2011 5:28 PM

    Spagz will hopefully convince management how important STUD LINEBACKERS are…..

  60. docboss says: Dec 27, 2011 6:22 PM

    From a STL prospective, Spags should get another year, but Billy D must go. A new GM will want his own guy. Spags should go to NY as DC for a year or two, then move to head coach. NY will outbid Philly and promise Spags the HC job.
    He is not going to sit around waiting for Reid to leave. Good luck to Spags, a great guy who did not have the players, the schedule, the time or the karma to turn around the Rams. OMG, my wife just suggested that Snyder might want Spags so NY and Philly don’t get him! Yikes.

  61. derekjetersmansion says: Dec 27, 2011 9:27 PM

    If Coughlin goes, the new coach isn’t hiring Spagnuolo.

    Washburn would go before Mudd since Mudd’s guys are here. Castillo could then go to Defensive Line. Spagnuolo to DC.

    Or Castillo could still have the title of DC and Spags could be Assistant Head Coach/Defense.

  62. derekjetersmansion says: Dec 27, 2011 9:29 PM

    lbijake says:
    Dec 27, 2011 3:38 PM
    Spags would be a good successor to Reid as coach. IMO, Reid is a good coach but a terrible talent evaluator on defense. Prior to this year, all the defensive stars came from Ray Rhodes era. What would really assist Philly would be a good GM.

    ——————————————————

    BUT HE SIGNED THE DREAM TEAMZ.

  63. fmwarner says: Dec 27, 2011 10:03 PM

    rajbais says: Dec 27, 2011 3:06 PM

    Andy Reid will never win a championship in Philadelphia!!!! If he cannot do as many simple things as possible then he is not a championship coach!!! He’s Josh McDaniels!!!
    ==================================

    I always thought it was stupid when people would trot out “Andy Reid will never win a championship” since he makes the playoffs almost every year and none of these people are Nostradamus.

    However, your multiple exclamation points finally convinced me. Good show.

  64. nfl245 says: Dec 27, 2011 10:44 PM

    The Castillo hasn’t failed completely. The Eagles are the 8th ranked defense. But I could see the Eagles demoting Castillo to Defensive Assistant if Spagnuolo gets hired, so that he could learn to run a defense more effectively. That’s only if the Eagles don’t fire Castillo. Spagnuolo would be a great hire for Eagles because he has lead a championship defense to a title back in 2007.

  65. rajbais says: Dec 27, 2011 11:59 PM

    @fmwarner Yes, but his chances of winning playoff games has declined!!! Since 2006 he has only has TWO seasons with at least ONE playoff victory!!!!

    The more often and recent you win playoff games the closer you can go to the Superbowl!!!
    – The 2005 and 2008 Steelers, the 2003 and 2004 Patriots, the 2009 Saints, and 2006 Colts had recent seasons of playoff victories before their Superbowls!!!

    The future Eagles of 2012 will have been 4 years removed from their last playoff victory!!! Look at the failing Chargers of 2011!!! Their last seasons with playoff victories were in 2007 and 2008!!! Do some research fmwarner!!!!

  66. GG Eden says: Dec 28, 2011 1:49 AM

    If the Raiders stay with the 4-3 (there’s talk we could go 3-4 next year under Dennis Thurman) we would have to be favorites to land Spagnuolo. Re-uniting him with Wauffle. If we go 3-4 Wauffle would go. Might even say Raiders possible favorites to land Spagnuolo. ;)

  67. tigrrrr says: Dec 28, 2011 3:22 PM

    I really dont think spags would consider coming to the eagles again. Everyone knows that anyone joining the eagles will be vick-timized, by the lousy karma vick brought to this once proud franchise.

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