What's Next For Steve Spagnuolo?

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 1: St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo stands on the sidelines in the second half of the game against the San Francisco 49ers on January 1, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers defeated the Rams 34-27. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

Fired on Monday, former St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo is widely expected to land on his feet elsewhere in the league rather quickly. His reputation as a defensive coordinator came out his 10-38 time in St. Louis relatively unscathed. Don Banks at SI.com says that four teams have already made informal phone calls to Spagnuolo.

Banks only said that four teams made "early feelers" about Spagnuolo, but said the particular teams remained unknown, unconfirmed. The Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants are two teams that Spagnuolo has been connected to via the rumor mill. Spagnuolo and his wife, a Philadelphia native, keep a home there, and reports of his disillusionment under Andy Reid in his last year in Philly have been greatly overstated. The job in New York may come down to how well Perry Fewell's defense does in the playoffs; the Giants host the Falcons this weekend in the wildcard round.

Two other teams Banks mentions are the Minnesota Vikings and the Oakland Raiders. The Vikings could be looking to part ways with Fred Pagac, whose defensive backs reportedly flaunted his calls.

Spagnuolo's defense in St. Louis was, for the most part, a team strong point. The biggest black mark on the unit was a run defense that actually got worse this season, despite the addition of a pair of free agent veteran outside linebackers who were supposed to be a big upgrade. Ben Leber got benched from his weakside spot in favor of Chris Chamberlain, and was eventually released. Brady Poppinga gave the Rams a hard hitter, but one who struggled in coverage and did not represent a significant upgrade over David Vobora and Na'il Diggs.

The Rams defense was best suited for playing with a lead, something they did with aplomb in an upset over the Saints this year. The paradox for Spagnuolo was that he hewed to a conservative offense philosophy, with a roster lacking the talent to gain a lead for the defense to protect.

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