Spagnuolo ponders sitting out a season

Posted: January 09, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It seemed perhaps the expected Eagles' defensive shakeup was beginning, when the Eagles confirmed a Saturday CBSsports.com report that they had fired secondary coach Johnnie Lynn.

But if bigger moves are going to be announced in the next day or 2, they're seemingly going to occur without the Eagles adding former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo to the mix. St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell interviewed Spagnuolo for yesterday's editions, and Spagnuolo told Burwell he was leaving Saturday for a 4-day getaway with his wife, Marie, as he decides what he wants to do next.

Spagnuolo, who in the interview flirted with the idea of sitting out a year, did not sound like a man who was ready to jump right into a new job.

Eagles fans fretting that the Giants might lose yesterday and fire defensive coordinator Perry Fewell in favor of Spagnuolo, who helmed their Super Bowl defense 4 years ago, can at least cross off that possibility. Fewell's defense pitched a shutout in the Giants' 24-2 victory over the visiting Falcons, dominating the Atlanta offensive line. The Giants are going on to play at Green Bay next week, and Fewell isn't going anywhere - unless New York somehow wins the Super Bowl again, and Fewell becomes a head-coaching candidate.

Spagnuolo told Burwell there had been exploratory conversations with NFL teams, but that no one has offered him a job. He did not confirm or deny he had been in contact with the Eagles, who are evaluating the fate of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Spagnuolo was an Eagles defensive assistant from 1999 to 2006.

"In all honesty, I don't know," he said. "I was let go on Monday, and today's Friday and I am very blessed in this way. The phone has been ringing. There has been contact [from several teams], but I have asked that everyone respect the fact that I need some time to figure out what I want to do next, and so far, everyone has."

Asked how much time he needs to figure out what he wants to do next, Spagnuolo said: "I don't know. I'm not sure."

Maria Spagnuolo, who sat in on the interview, is from Philadelphia. When he brought up sitting out, she dismissed the idea.

"I know Steve, and I told him no way," she said, laughing. "There's no way he will be able to sit around for a year doing nothing . . . He loves coaching way too much to sit around idly for a year."

"There are two extremes for what I'd ultimately like to do, and a lot of possibilities in between," Spagnuolo said. "The extremes are, one, sitting out a year, or two, getting another head-coaching job. One is realistic, the other probably isn't very realistic. No one has asked me to be a head coach yet and I'm not saying that is going to happen. But everything in between - like being a coordinator again, or maybe a position coach - yeah, those are both realistic possibilities. Would I think about a college job? No. I love this league too much."

After yesterday's game, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora was asked if he had checked in with Spagnuolo since his firing.

"You know, I haven't," said Umenyiora, who said he'd felt he needed to focus on the Falcons going into the game. "This evening I'll probably text him, check in, see how he's doing."


For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' Eagles blog, Eagletarian, at www.eagletarian.com.

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http://twitter.com/LesBowen.

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