News coming out of Louisiana is that the New Orleans Saints have fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after just one season, and the New York Giants should look to bring their former assistant coach back immediately.
This season should be considered anything but successful for the once lauded defensive coach. Spagnuolo replaced Gregg Williams after the bounty scandal nonsense, and while it would be fair to use that as an excuse for the poor performance, the Saints were one of the worst defensive teams I’ve ever seen. Sean Payton must have made the conscious decision to move on, despite Spagnuolo’s previous success as a coordinator.
The Giants should look to bring their old friend back as one of their defensive assistants.
Prior to joining the Giants in 2007, Spagnuolo was the linebackers coach for the Eagles, but before that most of his experience as an assistant was with defensive backs. I believe current LB coach Jim Herrmann has done a solid job developing the current group of linebackers, but the defensive line and secondary both took steps back this season and either coach could be replaced if the candidate was right.
If the Giants are unwilling to move on from Perry Fewell, who did a poor job this season but dealt with a fair share of injuries, they should hire Spagnuolo to get the secondary playing up to their full potential.
Prince Amukamara took steps forward in 2012, but Corey Webster regressed and third round pick Jayron Hosley had an inconsistent rookie year. All three could benefit from a coach with Spagnuolo’s pedigree, and Fewell could use his mind to help improve the defense as a whole.
Peter Giunta has worn out his welcome. The Giants have taken three first-round DBs and one second-rounder since Giunta took over in 2006, and none turned into elite shut down corners. Terrell Thomas got close before his injury and Amukamara could get there, but I’d much rather have a coach like Spagnuolo who could help the overall production from the defense as well.
If the Giants are serious about contending in 2013, they have to consider making this move before someone else snatches him up.