Steve Spagnuolo moved quickly at the chance to be the Saints defensive coordinator.
But make no mistake, he wants to be a head coach again.
Spagnuolo told Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe “there’s a burn there, I’m not going to lie to you,” in reference to being a head coach again after his ill-fated turn at the top in St. Louis.
“I think the professional thing to do in this situation is you concentrate all your efforts and all your focus on the job that you have right now,” Sagnuolo said. “I feel lucky I have this job. In this business, you fight every day to keep the job that you have. Now, should the good Lord put another opportunity in front of me to be a head coach, I’m jumping at it, I’m going to run with it. I know that I’ll be better having gone through it.
“I think I’m a better football coach. I know if given the opportunity again, which I hope happens, I will be a 10-times-better head coach because sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do from your success.”
That gave him plenty to learn from during his time with the Rams.
He took them from 1-15 to 7-9 and within a tiebreaker of the playoffs, but they fell back to 2-14 when a new staff was hampered by the lockout and injuries hit the Rams at a record pace. “We just didn’t have the weapons,” he said generously of his final team there.
But that 10-38 record doesn’t begin to describe the respect Spagnuolo has within the league. In many respects, the Rams chapter will fade from memory in time, and he’ll go back to being the defensive coordinator who helped the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots.
From that standpoint, the Saints are a perfect job for a resume builder.
With the suspensions from the bounty investigation, there’s a built-in excuse if they don’t succeed. If they do, Spagnuolo’s star will climb quickly, and he’ll have a chance to get back into the market from a position of strength rather than weakness.