At one point in time, Steve Spagnuolo looked like the successor to Tom Coughlin for the New York Giants. He was the play caller of a championship defense and Coughlin was getting up there in age. This led many to question what his future looked like with the organization.
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It turns out Coughlin had many years left in him including a championship run, while Spagnuolo decided to take the head coaching job with the St. Louis Rams. When he left following the 2008 season, the defense faltered and the Giants’ overall performance of the team has suffered ever since.
From 2007-2008 the Giants were both a 10 win and 12 win team making the playoffs both seasons, with a top 10 defense. They’ve only been to the playoffs and won double-digit games once since. Was Spagnuolo the missing piece in the Giants recent struggles?
I think this hire had as much to do with Spagnuolo being the next head coach as it did him making this defense relevant again. Let’s remember, he could’ve left after he 2007 season when he led a defensive unit to a world championship. He had offers, but decided to stay.
There is a clear connection between him and the franchise. They know Coughlin’s days are all but numbered at this point and why not bring in a guy that has already had great success with the franchise?
Now, I don’t think Spagnuolo is the only candidate for the Giants next coaching job. Ben McAdoo without a question has a strong chance as well. They were extremely impressed in the interviewing process when they hired him last season, and if this offense lives up to potential in 2015 the Giants won’t be the only one’s offering him head coaching services.
The last thing they want is to lose out on McAdoo considering the history of the team and coaches that have left and went on to have success elsewhere. The list ranges all the way from Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi, and Bill Belichick to John Fox and Sean Payton in the recent past.
The Giants have done what all successful organizations do: they consider all options. They’ve now paired McAdoo with Spagnuolo and have created quite possibly the best coordinator duo in football. Going even beyond that, they’ve also given themselves two outstanding options two replace Coughlin when his time is up.
There’s no question in my mind one of these two will be the next man up in New York. The question is which of the two will it be? The trend in the NFL has been to hire defensive minded head coaches. I think Spagnuolo has the upper-hand, but hey we’ll just have to wait and see.