Rams hire former Giants’ defensive coordinator Spagnuolo as head coach

One day after VP of Personnel Billy Devaney said that Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was the Rams’ “leading guy” to replace Scott Linehan/Jim Haslett, the team hired former Giants’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo as their next head coach.

Steve SpagnuoloUPDATE: The NFL Network is reporting that Spagnuolo and the Rams have agreed on a four-year contract worth $11.5 million. I was unable to independently verify this information and have no idea if it’s accurate.

Spagnuolo, 49, was the Giants defensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008 and came up with the game plan that resulted in five sacks of Tom Brady and a shocking upset of the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Before that, Spagnuolo learned his trade under acclaimed Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, working as an Eagles defensive assistant from 1999-2006. Spagnuolo came out of the Philadelphia experience with a variety of multiple defensive formations and blitz packages that he put to great use with the Giants.

Rams GM Billy and Spagnuolo have been friends for many years and that relationship obviously created a trust factor that helped Spagnuolo feel comfortable about taking the Rams job.

After devising a defensive scheme to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl last year, Spags became one of the hottest names in the coaching ranks. The Rams are definitely getting a quality coach and one that understands what it takes to reach the Super Bowl. Given the team’s struggles over the years on defense, it’s not a big surprise that the Rams went with a defensive-minded coach, but one has to wonder if they gave up on the next great offensive mind in Garrett.

Still, defense wins championship so it’ll be interesting to see what Spags can do for a player like Chris Long.

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