Even though he was not wearing a uniform, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was an integral part of the team’s revival. With a boost from some key additions, Spags took a liability and turned it into an asset. According to a report by ESPN, the veteran coordinator signed a two-year deal to remain in the Big Apple.
New York Giants Continuity
Steve Spagnuolo returned to New York in 2015, as a member of Tom Coughlin’s final staff. The defense he presided over struggled mightily, finishing dead last in total yards allowed. When Ben McAdoo was hired to replaced Coughlin in early 2016, Spagnuolo was retained.
Even though Big Blue brought in Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins, Spagnuolo is widely credited for the unit’s revival. The G-Men finished second in points allowed in the NFL, and were generally a top ten unit throughout the 2016 season.
On top of being a stellar tactician, players also seem to enjoy playing for Spags
“He’s a guy that didn’t panic when things were going wrong and was never overly excited when they were great,” said All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison to ESPN on Feb. 9, 2017. “He has this calm about him and assurance that everything would work out for the better defensively, and I think it rubbed off on everybody in our room,” Harrison added. “Great coach!”
Even though the Giants were drubbed, 38-13, by the Green Bay Packers, Spagnuolo’s efforts were lauded. Most analysts believe that the defensive unit simply ran out of gas, after the offense scuffled for the better part of the playoff game.
Oct 11, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Giants Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo looks on prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Reports varied, but ESPN indicated that Spagnuolo’s contract expired after the Super Bowl. SNY reported on Feb. 8, 2017 that the Giants inked the 57-year old defensive whiz to a two-year deal.