Saints and Falcons may be competing for Spagnuolo, Nolan


The Falcons and Saints are out of the playoffs, but their NFC South competition is not over for the month.

Gregg Williams is expected to leave the Saints defensive coordinator gig to work with Jeff Fisher in St. Louis.

So who will the Saints look to replace Williams with? ESPN’s Adam Schefter says that former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo and Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan are both high on the Saints’ short list of candidates.

Those are the exact same two names that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote were the leading candidates to fill the defensive coordinator role in Atlanta.

The Falcons have more flexibility to strike fast.  Williams’ contract is up in New Orleans, but it could take a few days for his future to clear up as the Saints try to move on from their season’s sudden end.

35 responses to “Saints and Falcons may be competing for Spagnuolo, Nolan

  1. With the hiring of Koetter as OC we better land the best man for the job or next season will be a long one…

  2. Isn’t Nolan a 3-4 coach? It’s not easy to change over in terms of personnel and teaching the scheme overnight. I’d say Spagnuolo would be the best pick if you want the best chance to win it all next year for either team.

  3. So now the Rams have a mediocre head coach who wins just over half his games and gets to the playoffs about 30% of the time and a defensive coordinator who has consistently presided over mediocre defenses ranked in the bottom half of the league and gave up 36 points to an Alex Smith led offense yesterday.

    The Gateway City tingle in anticipation.

    Did I just hear the Price is Right loser horn sound?

  4. Can we just assume that these two guys will be the top 2 candidates for any DC opening?

    At least until Juan Castillo enters the market, then all bets are off!

    And………………given the average sense of humor of the PFT posters, I feel the need to point out that the last part was sarcasm.

  5. For years we have heard about how much of a “genius” DC Mike Williams is and I for one don’t get it. He failed at his one attempt as a HC and his defenses haven’t been above average. Outside of 2009, which was more a result of a powerful offense that usually had huge leads in games which required opposing teams to pass and allowed the Saints defense the opportunity to free-lance and gamble, the Saints defense has always been it’s achillies heel. Williams has only been a beneficiary of a potent offense that has unduly made an undeserving reputation for Williams.

  6. Steve Spagnuolo is just like Greg Williams–blitzes WAYYY too much (See: Giants-Browns game, 2008).

  7. As long as Spags can call competent defense, and not put Vernon Davis in one on one’s all game, then I’m in.

    Seriously, Gregg Williams made a scrub like Alex Smith look like Joe Montana in the final minutes of the game. Ridiculous.

  8. Go get Spags and we’ll win multiple Superbowls. Never was the biggest GW fan. So much is predicated on turnovers which just didn’t come this year and of course the blitz which killed us yesterday. How can Davis run so freely at the end after the game he had had up to that point? Bad defense. Questionable, at best, defensive draft picks, and an inability or refusal to adjust the D during the game. Enjoy St. Louis Greg.

  9. Doesn’t matter what New Orleans does they host the Super Bowl next year so they’ll stink just ask Dallas and Indyor just look at history of cities hosting the team usually doesn’t fare well.

  10. Why isn’t Spags in the consideration set for the Dolphins? Ross should make it happen, if only for the sake of symmetry.

  11. I think both men offer good things for the Saint’s potential defense. I, however, feel Spags fits more with their current personnel with the least need for change. I’m not saying that William’s didn’t know what he was doing, but he often put his defense in a bad position, situation be damned.

  12. Lol is it even really a competition? Why on earth would any defensive coordinator want to go to Atlanta with that anemic offense.

  13. Yeah, way too many turnovers to win a playoff game, but the defense su.c.ked!.!.! The Saints almost always had to score bunches of points……. Spags – yes, Nolan – no……..

  14. Spags to the Saints would be very similar to what they have in Williams. He’d be another who brought the blitz.

    If the Saints don’t draft horses upfront that can get to the passer without bringing the house, then expect more of what you’re used to with Spags.

    Not saying it’s a bad thing. I just don’t see that much of a difference without drafting/signing pass rushers.

  15. thejuddstir says:
    Jan 15, 2012 11:20 AM
    For years we have heard about how much of a “genius” DC Mike Williams is and I for one don’t get it.

    It’s Gregg Williams there “genius”

  16. WTH are you doing Philly. Get Spags here on the double before….ah screw it, they never do the common sense thing. If they did, Reid, Castillo, Roseman and Banner would be looking for work right now.

  17. unbreakable02215 says:
    Jan 15, 2012 11:10 AM

    “Man, if the Saints get Spags, all I can say is
    OUCH for the rest of the league.”

    Yeah, if the Saints get Spags and his 32nd ranked run defense, the rest of the league is in serious trouble.

  18. Trsann,

    You’re right as right can be. We cannot pressure QB,s with our front four, that must change. The 49’rs drafted a defensive end that had 16 sacks in the first round, and we drafted one that had one sack all year. As far as Greg Williams is concerned, all I can say is good riddance…

  19. reality policy wrote:

    “Did I just hear the Price is Right loser horn sound?”


    Any “true” NFL fan that watches Price is Right, is the real loser!

  20. Mirk Nolan still under contract with the Dolphins. He will leave only if the new coach doesn’t want him or if the Dolphins let him interview with another team.

  21. The Eagles need Spagnuolo more than the Saints do,they’ve never won a Super Bowl where as the Saints have.The Saints can have Juan Castillo .

  22. Could we please all agree to dispell this notion that Mike Nolan is a good coordinator? How many defenses (or, teams, when he is the head coach) must he diminish before he is exposed?

  23. For the idiots complaining about the play calling that lead to Alex smith lighting up the saints. Would you prefer that he went to a prevent defense? And Alex smith made himself look clutch nobody did it for him.

  24. Yardage wise: The packers and patriots have the worst defenses in the league and they’ll probably meet in the superbowl. Translation: it’s all about the play of the QB. Tebow beat the #1 defense last week. Defense is overrated. Never overpay for a Defensive Coordinator. If the Eagles didn’t lead the league in turnovers and Vick didn’t get hurt, nobody would be talking about Castillo’s job status.

  25. Maybe if G Williams leaves the saints will get a corner that can cover.That guy #27 ? Jenkins can’t cover his girl friend.Gave up 2 big plays in the playoff game,just like he did in other games i have seen him play.

  26. I see we still got poor sport saints fans calling Alex Smith a scrub, that coming from some one who probably scrubs toilets (saintsfan1111) for a living give credit where credit is due. Brees is already 33 once hes dones who dat gonna be playing quaterback

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