I was a huge advocate for Steve Spagnuolo when he was hired. I watched his presence on the sidelines as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants and immediately thought he was the right man to save this sinking ship. How could anyone be worse than Scott Linehan.
Ultimately, while Spagnuolo’s record speaks for itself, only time will tell if the “foundation” he speaks so fondly of has any actual merit. Spagnuolo loved his players–I get it. They tried hard. They battled. They practiced with energy despite the losing. They never gave up.
Pause…does anyone feel any better? No. They still went 2-14 and underachieved. Spagnuolo may be a great cheerleader, but his coaching had way too many flaws. In your 3rd season as a head coach, there is no excuse for poor clock management. No excuse for not throwing the challenge flag on obvious occasions.
My biggest problem: Spagnuolo’s defense was a joke in 2011. They were the primary reason for the Rams 7-9 2010 season. The Rams thought signing Brady Poppinga, Ben Leber, and Justin Bannan would sure up the run defense. Running backs averaged 4.8 yards a carry for a total of 2,433 yards and 17 TDs. They gave up runs of 20 yards or more 14 times and runs of 40 yards or more 7 times. Ouch.
So if your defense is that bad, why continue to be so conservative on offense? Why not take a gamble for a first down to win a football game? Agh.
Ok we know the Rams were terrible. I’ll stop. But to sit in a press conference and listen to Spags’ reiterate how proud he is of a 2-14 football seam is sickening. Mediocrity became acceptable in a losing culture.
I found this quote to be rather confusing from Spagnuolo in a recent interview with Bryan Burwell: “You’re assuming that the player didn’t know what to do. You assume that he wasn’t coached to know what to do in that situation. Well, what if he did know what to do, but still didn’t do it? So who’s at fault then, the coach or the player?”
But after your 14th loss of the season he can stand in front of a podium and repeat “I’m going to go back to the character and the fight in our football team?”
What character? Stupidity? It’s non-sense.
Spagnuolo should have been fired immediately after Week 17 of last season. The Rams were embarrassed in the season finale at Seattle in which they could have won the NFC West. Want to get really mad? Read this.
It was a pathetic no show Spags, his coaching staff, and his football team. I guess the moral of the story is that Spagnuolo just was not quite ready. He failed to learn on-the-job. There was no accountability for poor play, but rather a pizza party for their courageous effort. Baloney, try to get away with that with Tom Coughlin, Bill Belichick, or Mike Ditka.
Ultimately, I wish Spags the best. He deserves another shot at some point–but he will need to go back to the drawing board, or “look at some notes” as he always referred to.
Perhaps he should call Todd Hewitt and make amends for good karma.
Thanks for reading.
- Spagnuolo ponders taking a year off (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- No shot at a Spags comeback (nypost.com)