Quick Thought: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

I had some rattling in my brain and I thought it would be worth discussing. Steve Spagnuolo has his philosophy, which is great. He has his schemes and he's brought in people he thinks share his philosophy about coaching. I'm assuming that statement is correct, so I have a question.

How much has Steve Spagnuolo helped our defensive line? They are unarguably playing horrible. Whether you watch the games or see that stats on paper, you have to agree. Now, it's quite obvious the Rams don't have the talent that the Giants did in 2007 on the defensive line. But then again, they weren't exactly stars in their own right. Look at Justin Tuck. He played with the Giants for the previous two years, and in that time (through 20 games) notched 41 tackles and one sack. The year Spagnuolo came? 65 tackles and 10 sacks. The next year? 66 tackles and 12 sacks. He hasn't had the same production since Spagnuolo left. Look at Michael Strahan. He was definitely a star, but the previous three years before Spags' came to town (33 games) he notched 18.5 sacks and 153 tackles. Most of those numbers came from his great season in 2005. It would be safe to say that he was on the decline (the season before those three, he had just as many sacks. In one season.) It's safe to say Spagnuolo had influenced them, is it not? Is it safe to say Spagnuolo immediately influenced those players?

Now, I'm not one to compare (O.K., yes I am), but the Rams players just CAN'T be that bad. There are even similarities. The Rams have Leonard Little (Michael Strahan comparison, obviously.) Who is our Justin Tuck? Chris Long? Spagnuolo was here for this draft- he had a say in who got picked. Obviously, you can't expect all of the rookies to make an impact like Animal Jr. has made on defense. But Chris Long? Clifton Ryan? Wasn't Spagnuolo supposed to whip them into run stuffing, sack masters? Chris Long was obviously thought well enough to be picked with the second pick in the draft- if we didn't, some else would have. He obviously has/had the talent to play at an NFL level, or so people thought.

Spagnuolo seems to be a good coach and is entirely capable of taking this team in the right direction. But did everyone overestimate his prowess with the defensive line? Are the Rams defensive lineman simply that bad? What do you think?

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