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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The Saints pressed forward Wednesday in their search for a defensive coordinator, interviewing former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and reportedly mulling a host of other candidates. A one-time defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Steve Spagnuolo was dismissed as ...

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Old 01-19-2012, 07:38 AM   #1
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The Saints pressed forward Wednesday in their search for a defensive coordinator, interviewing former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and reportedly mulling a host of other candidates.

A one-time defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Steve Spagnuolo was dismissed as the St. Louis Rams coach after going 10-38 in three seasons. He became the New York Giants' defensive coordinator in 2007 after three years as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, and in his first season in New York, the Giants won Super Bowl XLII.

The club declined to comment, but a league source confirmed Spagnuolo's visit to Metairie. With the league's annual offseason coach hiring and firing in full swing, Coach Sean Payton is apparently wasting little time interviewing candidates to replace departed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who left for the same post with the St. Louis Rams.

At the same time, Payton has made it clear he does not want to rush into a decision, and he hinted this week he might spend some of his time at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., next week meeting with candidates. Payton said he had neither ruled out nor settled on coaches that might make his short list of possible replacements.

Spagnuolo, however, is a highly sought defensive coach and could push Payton's timetable. The Colts have spoken with Spagnuolo, and the Vikings and the Eagles are reportedly interested too.

A one-time defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Spagnuolo, 52, was dismissed as the Rams coach after going 10-38 in three seasons. He became the Giants' defensive coordinator in 2007 after three years as an assistant coach with the Eagles, and in his first season in New York, the Giants won Super Bowl XLII with a historic upset of the undefeated New England Patriots.

And yet Spagnuolo's defense actually improved from its championship year. In 2007, the Giants defense ranked seventh in the league in yards allowed and 17th in points allowed. The next season, the Giants ranked fifth in the NFL in both categories. While New York's defense slipped from eighth to ninth in rushing yardage, it allowed 15 rushing touchdowns in 2008 after giving up 17 in 2007.

The improvement in passing scores allowed was even more dramatic. Opponents passed for 20 touchdowns against the Giants in 2007 but had only seven in 2008.

The Giants have long had a traditional 4-3 base alignment, as do the Saints, but New York has built a fearsome pass rush, putting a huge emphasis in drafts on dynamic defensive linemen and stockpiling them even when already loaded at those positions.

Payton reportedly had or maintains an interest in some other candidates. One name that cropped up in conversations about Williams' replacement was Mike Nolan, but on Wednesday he was hired as defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.

Former Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio has also been mentioned as a candidate in reports citing unnamed sources. A person familiar with Del Rio's situation declined to comment Wednesday, but he has been spotted in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas recently. Del Rio, 48, has been a player and a coach with the Saints, and his wife is from Louisiana.

In his early years with the Jaguars, Del Rio's defenses were formidable, but the production fell off sharply. Between 2008 and 2010, Jacksonville's defense was in the bottom half of the NFL in almost all significant categories, although the unit did improve in 2011. Del Rio was also a linebackers coach with Carolina in 2002, and the Panthers' defense sparkled that season.

As Payton acknowledged Tuesday, defensive coordinator is not the only coaching position in a state of flux for New Orleans. He must hire a receivers coach to replace Curtis Johnson, who took the head coaching job at Tulane, and clubs are making attempts to poach his talent, developments that come with winning records and can only be described as complimentary, according to Payton.

Reports surfaced late Wednesday that Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael will interview for the head coaching job at Indianapolis, and Payton confirmed the Raiders have also requested and received permission to interview Carmichael.

Carmichael has emerged as a hot commodity after taking over play-calling duties this past season when Payton had to coach from an overhead box after breaking his knee at Tampa Bay.

Meanwhile, offensive line and running game coach Aaron Kromer, who oversaw a rushing attack that ranked sixth in the NFL last season, has garnered interest from St. Louis.


New Orleans Saints interview former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo to coach defense - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com

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Old 01-19-2012, 07:52 AM   #2
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I like Del Rio. It is just one of those gut feeling things. I think he would bring a swagger to the Saints that presently is owned only by the offense.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Saint_LB View Post
I like Del Rio. It is just one of those gut feeling things. I think he would bring a swagger to the Saints that presently is owned only by the offense.
I agree. My only concern is does he have the passion to bring that fire as a coordinator after being a HC for 9 years and just recently being released.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #4
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I want Spags....I think Del Rio may be tainted by Jax. My gut just says Spags may be the best choice...
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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I think Del Rio would bring a more steady week in week out defense to the table than Spags. However, I've been craving for a strong pass rush for a very long time... which is why I favor Spags.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #6
 
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Are we getting both ?
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
Are we getting both ?

I doubt either one would be interested in anything less than a DC position, and since HC and AHC are off the table... there really is only a place for one of them.

Of course, if Del Rio would be willing to take the LB coach position it would be great, but I doubt he'd want to take that big of a step back after being a HC for 9 years.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
I doubt either one would be interested in anything less than a DC position, and since HC and AHC are off the table... there really is only a place for one of them.

Of course, if Del Rio would be willing to take the LB coach position it would be great, but I doubt he'd want to take that big of a step back after being a HC for 9 years.
You never know. This is probably just a pipe dream but if he just bought a house here and kids are in school here, what else is he going to do? Teach yoga? If we go with Spags i'd like to think there maybe a slim chance.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
Are we getting both ?
SILLY SMASHMOUTH, I TOLD RITA LE BLANC BENSON IN BED LAST NIGHT, "SO LONG AS WE DON'T GET JIM HASLETT, I'M COOL WIT' IT."
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Halo View Post
SILLY SMASHMOUTH, I TOLD RITA LE BLANC BENSON IN BED LAST NIGHT, "SO LONG AS WE DON'T GET JIM HASLETT, I'M COOL WIT' IT."
Wow LOL!!!
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