Well, we finally got Benedict Spagnuolo to show his true colors. While Joe Banner, Jeff Lurie, and Andy Reid were doing charitable acts to improve the overall quality of life for all of mankind, Spagnuolo stabbed them in the back with a fleur-de-lis. Traitor!!!
By now you all probably know that Spags signed on to be the DC for the Saints. We don’t know if the Eagles wanted Spags and he simply said no thanks or if Andy is committed to sticking with Juan. We heard from a few people that he was taking his time and trying to choose carefully. Chris Mortensen said this on Twitter:
#Eagles fans, Spagnuolo really wanted something fresh, something new, or don’t think he would’ve coached this year.
I really do wonder if Andy’s situation worked against Spags coming here. Steve could worried that if things didn’t work well in 2012, Andy could be fired and that would mean another job search. By going to the Saints, Spags is joining a very stable situation. He’s got arguably the top coach in the NFC in Sean Payton. He’s got arguably the top QB in the NFC in Drew Brees. The offense is loaded. From that standpoint, I don’t blame Spags one bit for wanting to join the Saints.
I do have serious questions about their defense. They have talent, but not the pass rushers that Spags is used to working with. Spags loves the zone blitz, but his blitzes were usually designed to occupy blockers and free up his D-linemen. The highest sack total by a non-DL with the Rams and Giants is 3.5 by LB Kawika Mitchell in 2007. SS Roman Harper led the Saints with 7.5 sacks in 2011. Spags is taking on a big challenge, unless the Saints can somehow make a deal for an impact DE like Mario Williams.
Maybe Spags wants that challenge. If he can build a good DL in New Orleans, that will bode well for him getting another HC gig. I do think Spags is rolling the dice with this move more than people realize.
2007: M. Strahan, O. Umenyiora, M. Kiwanuka, J. Tuck
2008: Kiwanuka, Tuck, Dave Tollefson (Osi tore his ACL)
2009: Chris Long, Leonard Little, James Hall
2010: Long, Hall, C.J. Ah You
2011: Long, Hall, Robert Quinn
Saints: Will Smith, Cam Jordan, Junior Gallette
Spags is famous for putting DEs at DT and having them rush up the middle. Cam Jordan should fit that well, but he still doesn’t have great edge rushers. Spags will have some DT talent to work with, but his track record shows that he’s best with DEs that can fly off the edge or get moved around. I don’t think it is a lock that Spags gets the Saints defense turned around the way people are talking about. I think they need an impact DE to really help his system out.
The flip side is that maybe Spags can change up what he does. If so, and he has success, he will enhance his reputation and might really get on the fast track to another HC job. It will be interesting to see how things work out. I like Spags and wish him well, except when we play him or need the Saints to lose.
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So what does this mean for the Eagles? It seems like Juan Castillo will be back. We can’t fully rule out a change, but the only reason to do that is if there is a clear upgrade. While some of the guys on the market are better defensive coaches than Juan Castillo, they aren’t necessarily better coaches for the 2012 Eagles. We’ve already got systems in place that fit the personnel and worked pretty well last season.
I was in favor of making a change, but only a clear upgrade. Just hiring someone new for the sake of making a change isn’t the way to go. We do still need a CBs coach. No word on what’s happening there. Typical Eagles secrecy. I’m still hoping we land Todd Bowles. He’s currently in a holding pattern as he waits to see who the Dolphins hire as HC.
It would be nice to find out something from the Eagles. We’re looking for a new DC. We’re sticking with Juan. We’re negotiating with Buddy Ryan. Whatever. The silence is driving me crazy.
At least SpagsWatch 2012 has come to an end.
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You guys had a lot of questions in the previous post. I’ll do a Q&A post on Friday to address them.