Who is it gonna be? The hot rumor is Ed Donatell, but Steve Spagnuolo just got fired and is on the street. Don’t you at least have to interview him? Are the Eagles set on 3-4? Is there anyway they’ll stick with the 4-3?
Let’s talk about Spags. He was a longtime assistant to Jim Johnson (1999-2006) in Philly. He then was the DC for the Giants, helping them to win the Super Bowl in 2007. In 2009 Spags became the HC for the Rams. He had one good season there, but the lockout really hurt him, as did the loss of OC Pat Shurmur. Replacement Josh McDaniels tried to make too many changes and things did not go well. The Rams fired him and Spags turned down a chance to come back to Philly so he could go to the Saints.
The Saints defense was a major disaster in 2012. They finished:
Pts – 31st
Yds – 32nd
Run – 31st
Pass – 32nd
I wrote last January that this was a questionable move for Spags.
I do have serious questions about their (Saints) 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.
People are now spinning things to where Spags was only good due to the talent he had in NY. Take that away and he’s no good. I think that is stretching things too far. In 2008 Spags didn’t have Strahan or Osi, but the Giants still had a good defense. He started to build a good defense in STL, but didn’t get to reap the benefits. One of the big problems was injuries to the secondary. He was really hurt there, especially in 2011. The Rams at one point were using their 10th CB of the season or something like that.
Spags is smart. He knows defense. He knows how to coach. Spags does need pass rushers to make his system work. I think the Eagles have some pieces he would like (Cole, Graham, Cox, Thornton, Curry, etc.). The cupboard isn’t bare here. I think Mychal Kendricks would be a good fit for his system, as a LB and blitzer.
I don’t think Spags is so good that he’s a “must hire” kinda guy, but I would have interest in him. I’d sure hope the Eagles at least talk to him. Jeff McLane reported that Spags did talk to Howie and Chip down in Mobile. No word on if that was about the opening or just pleasantries.
* * * * *
There is no update on Ed Donatell. SF is playing in the Super Bowl next Sunday. He won’t be free until after that. Many assume that since the Eagles have put together parts of the staff, there must be a secret agreement with Ed. No one in Mobile was sure of that. Ed was the hot name, but no one said “he’s definitely the guy”.
* * * * *
Many have asked about GB assistants Mike Trgovac, Winston Moss, and Kevin Greene. Greene isn’t ready to be a DC. He’s still learning how to coach. I don’t know what the deal with Moss is. He was a hot name in the past, but not this year at all. I have to assume that he had a poor interview in the past and teams just aren’t interested in him right now.
Trgovac was the DC when the Panthers went to the SB, but had some burnout type issues. He decided to go back to being just a positional assistant. I’ve heard nothing about him interviewing so it is very possible that Mike has let teams know he wants to just stay a DL coach and not a coordinator. There is more work and pressure that comes with being a DC. Not everyone wants that.
The fact that we’ve heard nothing about the Eagles and any of these guys leads me to believe these coaches are not under consideration.
* * * * *
Jimmy and I did 3 Senior Bowl podcasts (Skype kept falling out).