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Spagnuolo ponders taking a year off

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One of the hottest defensive coordinator candidates on the market may decide not to be on the market at all.

In a recent interview with Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News), former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo mentioned the possibility of taking a year off.  His wife, Maria, promptly disagreed.  “I know Steve, and I told him no way,” she said while laughing.  “There’s no way he will be able to sit around for a year doing nothing . . . He loves coaching way too much to sit around idly for a year.”

But here’s the thing.  Unless someone is going to pay him more than what the Rams were scheduled to pay Spagnuolo in 2012, he’d be working for free.  The Rams owe his full salary for 2012, and the amount owed by the Rams would be diminished, dollar for dollar, if he takes another job in coaching.

Depending on the precise language of his contract, Spagnuolo possibly could get a job in the media or in some other football-but-not-coaching capacity and collect both checks.  Still, with the coaching dollars the same whether he coaches in 2012 or not, it makes plenty of sense to take a year off and plot more carefully his next move.

Spagnuolo, who ruled out taking a college football job, has been linked to several possible openings, but he told Burwell he has received no job offers yet.

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60 Responses to “Spagnuolo ponders taking a year off”
  1. joetoronto says: Jan 9, 2012 1:17 PM

    I don’t blame the poor bastard, he must be worn out.

  2. kd75 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:19 PM

    Take the paid vacation Spags. Play with your kids. Be home for dinner. Rebuild a 1968 GTO. Come back strong next year.

  3. jsho55 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:19 PM

    His team just went 2-14…..I’d say he already has taken a year off.

  4. netherscourge says: Jan 9, 2012 1:20 PM

    Spags will take a year off, watch Juan Castillo embarrass himself and the Eagles defense again and then when Reid makes Juan the scapegoat and fires him, Spags will be the new DC in 2013.

    Then when Andy fails to win a Superbowl at the end of 2013, he’ll be fired and Spags will be the Eagles new HC.

  5. daveyjones1 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:22 PM

    Can he collect unemployment for that?

  6. popdawg99 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:23 PM

    What is his 2012 salary?

  7. hankscorpioshammock says: Jan 9, 2012 1:24 PM

    Spags is a great guy. I know they couldn’t bring him back and sell tickets, but he and Billy Devaney really got boned by injuries. I hope he gets another shot.

  8. dolphins4 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:27 PM

    No don’t take the year off go to Philadelphia and become the defensive coordinator of the Eagles and help them win a Super Bowl.

  9. dcfan4life says: Jan 9, 2012 1:27 PM

    This man will be hired somewhere. Way too many teams had poor offenses this year and Spagnulo for some reason is a hot commodity, which in my mind is surprising considering he won 10 games in 3 years.

  10. harleyrider1973 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:28 PM

    Translation: there is not way I’m letting him sit around and not get paid.

  11. fumblenuts says: Jan 9, 2012 1:28 PM

    Go to Tampa Bay and become the DC after Marty takes the job of HC.

  12. angrycorgi says: Jan 9, 2012 1:29 PM

    His wife, Maria, promptly disagreed. “I know Steve, and I told him no way,” she said while laughing. “There’s no way he will be able to sit around for a year doing nothing . . . He loves coaching way too much to sit around idly for a year.”


    Translation: “There’s no way I’m gonna let him sit at home and spoil the fun I’ve been having with the pool guy!”

  13. prior0knowledge says: Jan 9, 2012 1:30 PM

    take the year off… travel while you are young. see the world, while you have strength to walk around. Never know when something like arthritis will kill that ability. then you will be refreshed to kill in your next coaching job.

  14. 49erjohnny says: Jan 9, 2012 1:30 PM

    Well if he wants to take time off it means his heart isn’t in it which might explain why his rams football teams sucked so bad. One things for sure he will never ever be a NFL head coach again. He’s the worst coach the rams ever had. Maybe the worst head coach in NFL history.

  15. beavertonsteve says: Jan 9, 2012 1:31 PM

    Having a 2012 paycheck already locked in is a nice fall back, but if a choice job is offered to him(I’m thinking Eagles or Giants DC job) you’d have to think he take it.

  16. purpleman527 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:31 PM

    Come on Vikes !

    Fire Pag and hire SPAG !

  17. 4evrnyt says: Jan 9, 2012 1:32 PM

    You mean two years off if you include this past one…

  18. bawston1 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:33 PM

    Take two while you’re at it!

  19. richkotitte says: Jan 9, 2012 1:35 PM

    Spags is a great defensive mind and he’ll bounce back as a DC in the NFL sooner than later, otherwise Tiki Barber will become flabbergastered.

  20. nesportsfan0428 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:36 PM

    Love the picture of Spags a the top of the article. You can almost read him saying “Please, please don’t tear your ACL”.

  21. markus124 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:36 PM

    This way he waits for Tom Coughlin to retire and becomes the head coach of the Giants.

  22. test2402 says: Jan 9, 2012 1:40 PM

    He wants to coach Tim Tebow.

  23. jerseyshoregiant says: Jan 9, 2012 1:41 PM

    harleyrider1973 says:
    Jan 9, 2012 1:28 PM
    Translation: there is not way I’m letting him sit around and not get paid.
    Harley I guess you ignored the fact that he IS getting paid next year as the Rams have to pay him his entire salary unless he takes another coaching job.

  24. davikes says: Jan 9, 2012 1:43 PM

    I’m still hoping the Vikes hire him. C’mon Maria, we’ve got good schools for the kids in MN. Move north!

  25. nyyjetsknicks says: Jan 9, 2012 1:44 PM

    7 figures not to work? Where do I sign up?

  26. vikingsprimetime says: Jan 9, 2012 1:46 PM

    any statement coming regarding the “story” about quinn playing which you persisted to force down our throats? what a joke! as if anyone actually believed it just because you peddled that “news” and stubbornly continued to support such absurd rumors!!!

  27. thingamajig says: Jan 9, 2012 1:46 PM

    Sounds like Fisher had a talk with him about leverage.

  28. mavajo says: Jan 9, 2012 1:49 PM

    “dcfan4life says:
    Jan 9, 2012 1:27 PM
    This man will be hired somewhere. Way too many teams had poor offenses this year and Spagnulo for some reason is a hot commodity, which in my mind is surprising considering he won 10 games in 3 years.”

    He’s a defensive coordinator, Einstein.

  29. clintonportisheadd says: Jan 9, 2012 1:50 PM

    I’m sure he can make a deal with the Rams where he can work for a new team and let the Rams pay him only 80% of what he is owed if he takes another job.

  30. andyreidisfat says: Jan 9, 2012 1:52 PM

    I fully expect spags to be on fat Andy’s staff next year. Both to help juan become a better dcord ( of which I think Juan can become very good at as evident by his last 5 games or so when he started making better moves) but also to put some pressure on Andy himself. I think this hire will come down from ownership and I also think it will be a very good move for everyone involved.

    I just hope they don’t can Juan because I really do see great things in his future if he is given the chance. Thing is they may make Juan the assistant head coach and spags the dc.

  31. nflfollower says: Jan 9, 2012 2:00 PM

    Either that or come to Detroit. Seems like some of our guys on D may have tuned gunther out at this point. Spags would know what to do with our D line.

  32. raiderstotheship says: Jan 9, 2012 2:01 PM

    SPAGS is a beast, he should still coach somewhere this year, and I think he will because he isn’t all about the money. COME TO RAIDER NATION!!!

  33. jdandcoke says: Jan 9, 2012 2:03 PM

    there is already talk of coughlin possibly retiring soon. i wouldnt be surprised if someone reached out to spags and told him to keep his options open for a little bit. the giants regard spags very highly.

    if tc does retire spags might be the giants choice, despite what happened with the rams. if tc decides to coach in 2012….and im assuming tc will make a decision as soon as the giants season is over, which will most likely be next week…..spags can turn around and say “ok, i decided that i DO want to coach this year, screw the ram’s money”, and pursue one of the many DC jobs that will surely come his way.

  34. ranksarot says: Jan 9, 2012 2:04 PM

    Thank God. If I had to listen to Pat K and Tim R kiss this guy’s butt one more time on Sirius NFL radio I was gonna shoot myself.

  35. pkswally024 says: Jan 9, 2012 2:05 PM

    Waiting for Reid to be fired?

  36. purpleisreallypinkyouknow says: Jan 9, 2012 2:12 PM

    He waits the season out or until the Packers are elimintaed, then when Dom Capers takes a HC job here soon, Spags comes north to the frozen tundra for a ton of money and the Asst. HC title.

    You heard it here first….

  37. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jan 9, 2012 2:13 PM

    Almost every head coach is fired with time left on their contract and many of them go right back to work as an assistant the next year. Good coaches can take a year or more off and still be in demand. Guys who haven’t had much success as a head coach often want to get right back into it as an assistant so teams don’t forget about them.

  38. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jan 9, 2012 2:14 PM

    I think that headline was supposed to read “Spagnuolo will be on a team with Ponder in a year.”

  39. kingjoe1 says: Jan 9, 2012 2:17 PM

    That would be stupid. Has no one learned that you strike while the iron is hot in the NFL. Taking time off only works for the best of the best

  40. crw37 says: Jan 9, 2012 2:18 PM

    I know everyone has ruled this out, because New England normally promotes from within, but think about it:

    1. Spagnuolo was born and raised in Massachusetts. He went to Springfield College and studied/coached at UMass.

    2. He runs 4-3, which the Patriots started making a switch to this year.

    3. He coached with Josh McDaniels in St. Louis.

    4. Belichick loves hiring players that have bested him, like Wes Welker and Andre Carter, so why not bring in a coach that bested him.

    5. Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick are both Parcells disciples. Spags served under Coughlin.

    Probably won’t happen, but the foundation is there, and it would make sense.

  41. mojosmagic says: Jan 9, 2012 2:20 PM

    Sounds like Spags wife wants him out of the house.

  42. rmc1995 says: Jan 9, 2012 2:37 PM

    Just how would he be working for free if he takes a DC job? He would still get paid unless he actually takes a coaching job that pays him nothing. Something doesn’t make sense about this story. Cam Cameron was fired under contract and he got a job with the Ravens and I don’t think he worked for free. I can’t imagine they paid more than the dolphins. I think if he for a job he’d still get 2paid pay checks. One from the new team and the other the balance of his rams contract. He’d be working as a DC still earning his rams HC salary.

  43. eaglesfanalways says: Jan 9, 2012 2:38 PM

    I was really looking forward to him replacing Castillo as Eagle’s DC next year and then getting groomed to be the HC when Andy’s contract expires. Would be the perfect end to Reid’s tenure! I bet THAT would get him off the couch!

  44. klunge says: Jan 9, 2012 2:48 PM

    nyyjetsknicks says:
    Jan 9, 2012 1:44 PM
    7 figures not to work? Where do I sign up?
    Start a farm, the government will pay you to not grow anything on it.

  45. KIR says: Jan 9, 2012 2:48 PM

    What happened to all the people who wanted him to take the Giants DC position?

  46. brenenostler says: Jan 9, 2012 2:54 PM

    He knows Perry Fewell won’t be fired. He also knows his contract runs through 2012. He’s waiting for the Giants DC job to open up.

  47. rugdaniels says: Jan 9, 2012 3:01 PM

    @ andyreidisfat…

    to be clear, you’re saying that Spagnoulo is going to take a STAFF position w/ the Eagles? He’s going to coach behind a coordinator he’s more accomplished and experienced then?

    I know Eagles fans are delusional, but your theory is a stretch even w/ that handicap.

  48. halbriston says: Jan 9, 2012 3:07 PM

    Sweet…wait for Fewell’s contract to expire, and then back to where he belongs. I’ll take it.

  49. n0hopeleft says: Jan 9, 2012 3:27 PM

    That sound is the deafening cry of The Empty Trophy Case Clan realizing that their boy would rather wait it out then go to the crappy City of Bromance!!!

  50. mickmars says: Jan 9, 2012 3:46 PM

    Judging by his overall record with the Rams, you’d think the last 3 years off would’ve been more than enough…..

  51. gdeli says: Jan 9, 2012 3:48 PM

    put up some drywall!!

  52. lawyermalloy says: Jan 9, 2012 3:59 PM

    The window for “hot” coaches in the NFL is a narrow one. TODAY, he’s a hot topic for Defensive Coordinators job, next year, who knows. Get it while the gettings good!

  53. mwcarolina says: Jan 9, 2012 4:12 PM

    if the Eagles dont hire him as the defensive coordinator, then i have no doubt he will find an NFL job as either defensive coordinator or even head coach somewhere. he’s too good a defensive mind to not be either defensive coordinator or head coach, i think in the end, he’s an Eagle as defensive coordinator.

  54. nlucas550 says: Jan 9, 2012 4:26 PM

    One Final Farewell to Spags.

    Check it out ! Daily Grind Sports:

    great local and national blog, drop a comment !

  55. beavertonsteve says: Jan 9, 2012 4:26 PM

    Fewell won’t get fired, but if the Giants don’t make it to the Superbowl we’ll see him interviewing for HC jobs soon.

  56. thetooloftools says: Jan 9, 2012 4:40 PM

    Sit out a year and get paid?
    I get paid every year and do nothing
    Section 8 Recipient

  57. vikesfansteve says: Jan 9, 2012 5:12 PM

    Leslie Frazier offers Spags the DC job in MN. That afternoon Steve announces his plans to take a year off…………..

  58. ramofsteel says: Jan 9, 2012 5:36 PM

    Spags only had 2 “worthy” players when he took over. He and Devaney brought in some players (Long, Laurinaitis, Bradford, Fletcher, Saffold, Dahl, Amendola, Stewart, Mikell, Chamberlain, Quinn, Kendricks, etc.). Not fair, but it is what it is and Jeff Fisher or whoever will be taking over a better roster than what Spags had to go through.

  59. malcolmsbeard says: Jan 9, 2012 5:38 PM

    Wait. If another team is already paying his salary for next year, the Glazers are sure to come calling to see if he’ll coach the Bucs for free.

  60. laeaglefan says: Jan 9, 2012 5:39 PM

    How many of these fired coaches (and managers, in baseball) say that they’re taking time off to “spend more time with their family” when they don’t have a free paycheck coming for the entire next season when they’ll be paid for NOT working? Not many, I’d bet. If they don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from, they can’t wait for the job offers to come in….and they pray that they will come in.

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