Monday, January 22, 2007

A Bird Leaves the Nest

So word trickled out today the long-time Eagles defensive assistant and most-recent linebackers coach, Steve Spagnuolo (no, not former Eagles TE John Spagnolo) was hired by Tom Coughlin to be the Giants Defensive Coordinator. I kind of feel sorry for the guy, honestly...TC burns through his assistants, and I fear that Steve is simply the latest of Tommy C's future scapegoats (along with newly promoted O-coordinator Kevin Gilbride).

My initial take: big, fat, hairy deal. Honestly, I just cannot get that riled up about the position coach for the absolute worst group on our defense leaving...but I guess it's a bit more than that...I've seen a couple of Giants fans trolling Eagles-related message boards, mostly asking questions about the guy, but some trying to quote New York media playing up the dude. Which is fine...they have to try and get the fans excited...but seriously if the Eagles had wanted to keep the guy all that badly, they just would've denied the Giants permission to talk to him...

I base this on the assumption that Spagnuolo was under contract with the Eagles. Contracts for coaches in the NFL seem to have some unwritten rules. They go something like this: with the exception of the top job, coaching contracts can/will be tossed aside if the coach in question receives outside offers that would effectively promote said individual. (In this manner, Position coaches can jump ship to become coordinators, while coordinators can take the big leap to head coaches). Technically the teams have to "ask permission" to do this, but in the vast majority of cases, teams will grant this permission so they don't look like they are a place that would obstruct their employees careers....Teams CAN say no, and in the cases where they do say no, it appears to often come with the (again silent) caveat that the team is "doing it" because they have their own plans for the guy (Like said guy moving up within their own organization in a year or two)....

So you know what they tells me, the Eagles were NOT planning on promoting Spagnuolo to replace current Def Coord. Jim Johnson in the next couple of seasons (as some Giants fans/media have reportedly suggested). If they were, he'd still be with the Eagles, methinks.

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