Steve Spagnuolo Will Give New York Giants Defense a Much-Needed Boost


They say that you can’t go home again, but that proved untrue with the return of Steve Spagnuolo to the New York Giants organization. The former defensive coordinator has been brought back to replace Perry Fewell,  who agreed to mutually part ways with the team at the end of the regular season. And although the current unit is quite different from the one that Spags coached to a Super Bowl win in his first year on board, he brings added emotion that any player can feed off of.

In his first tenure with Big Blue from 2007 to 2008, Spagnuolo’s defenses finished seventh and fifth, respectively, in total defense. Their biggest moment came in Super Bowl XLII when the pressure on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was the difference in the game. The Giants pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NFL history by battering the perennial Pro Bowler and not allowing him to find any receivers.

Spagnuolo was lauded for his game plan and coordinators are still trying to replicate what he was able to do versus the mighty Patriots, who were denied not only a championship, but also an undefeated season.

Dec 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez (3) is sacked by New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) in the first half during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams hired Spagnuolo as their head coach in 2009, but that didn’t quite work out so well and he was let go after three seasons and a 10-28 record. In 2012, he was hired as the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints and then spent the last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

Once Fewell was not retained, Spagnuolo’s name surfaced as the frontrunner and he certainly had a supporter in his old boss, Tom Coughlin, who spoke to the team’s website about the intangibles that he brings.

"We spoke to a lot of good candidates. The energy, enthusiasm and strong personality that we saw before in Steve Spagnuolo, all of that was very evident again. His desire to be a Giant again was very, very obvious."

The only defensive player remaining on the roster that was here in 2008 is Mathias Kiawanuka, who finished the season on injured reserved and may not even be back once mini camps open.

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But that is not the most important aspect of the hiring. Spagnuolo has the ability and schemes to make a player better and that will be a welcome addition to a defense that had trouble putting pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run.

The Giants offense is in good hands with Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and the return of Victor Cruz. If they can get their defense right, this is a team that can be right in the mix for a playoff spot in 2015.

And now they have their man back.

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