When looking for thoughts and opinions on candidates for the Broncos Head Coaching vacancy I thought there would be no place better to go than right to people that might know these guys the best, the bloggers who cover these teams as we doo the Broncos.
The first one returned to me was from ETVal, our Giants Blogger over at BigBlueView. He was nice enough to take some time out of his busy playoff preparations to give his thoughts on Steve Spagnuolo, his prospects as a Head Coach, and more importantly how he could be a fit for the Broncos.
Tom Coughlin has done a great many wonderful things since becoming head coach of the New York giants in 2004. Probably the best thing he has ever done is to hire Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator two seasons ago.
'Spags' immediately transformed a soft, ineffective defense into a dominant, quarterback-eating machine that helped the Giants win a Super Bowl. Despite the losses of Michael Strahan (retirement) and Osi Umenyiora (injury) Spagnuolo still has this defense performing at a high level.
He is now, of course, the 'hot' assistant coach. Denver, the Jets, the Browns, the Lions are all interested. We have seen again and again that great success as a coordinator does not always translate to great success as a head coach. That said, I think Spags will have John Fox-like success wherever he goes. Fox was Jim Fassel's defensive guru in New York before becoming head coach in Carolina.
We would love to keep Spags in New York. At Big Blue View we have often talked about him becoming 'head coach in waiting' and succeeding Coughlin. But, TC is not going anywhere in the near future so, realistically, we know that won't happen.
Spags' is beloved by his players for his schemes, his personality and his willingness to listen to their ideas. A Steve Spagnuolo defense will never be accused of playing soft.
It's attack, attack, attack all the time -- the philosophy he learned from Jim Johnson while working under him in Philadelphia. Blitz all the time and press with the corners. Honestly, this Giants' defense is not as talented in the front 7 as it was last year, yet Spags' creativity and attitude has the unit playing very well.
Denver might fit Spags for a lot of reasons. Franchise QB in place, defense that needs an overhaul.
I think, though, that the Jets are probably the front-runner. Spagnuolo is an East Coast guy, so I think he would lean that way if he has options.
If he winds up in Denver, though, you will love the attitude and style he brings to the Broncos. And Giants' fans will be forced to hate you.
Our thanks to ETVal for taking time to answer a few questions for us and wish the Giants luck in the playoffs.