The thing about foregone conclusions is that sometimes they aren't so forgone. Fans spewed vitriol in 140 character bursts on Twitter yesterday at the rumors of Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith ticketed for the St. Louis Rams' job, the fact that it's a single-sourced rumor being no impediment to our 2.0 society's need to form and voice instant opinions. Like the Smith report, news that Steve Spagnuolo will be the Eagles next defensive coordinator, which came via the same source, may be a little premature.
Mike Garafolo, who covers the New York Giants for the Newark Star-Ledger, injected a note of memory and rationality into the talk this morning on Twitter, of all places. Garafolo pointed out that Spagnuolo could also be in demand to return to the Giants as their defensive coordinator if Perry Fewell gets canned after a season in which the criticism is mounting.
Spagnuolo was pretty miserable during his last year in Philadelphia. He wanted to be a defensive coordinator, moving up from his job as a linebackers coach. In 2006, Spagnuolo reportedly had the chance to take the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator job, but Andy Reid would not release him from his contract. The fear was that Jim Johnson would leave to take a head coaching gig after the 2006 season.
Someone close to Spagnuolo told the Newark Star-Ledger in 2008, as part of a feature as the Giants made their way through the playoffs, that Spags was not happy in his last year in Philly.
Those were probably the darkest days. Working for the Eagles the last year was very tough for him.
There's nothing that says Spagnuolo has to return to Philadelphia out of loyalty to Andy Reid or to complete a circle or any of that nonsense. As noted yesterday, Spagnuolo could have his pick of defensive coordinator jobs, and there might even be a few teams willing to make him a head coach again in 2012.
Rumors, speculation and foregone conclusions will swirl like ashes and soot in a Dickensian factory town over the coming weeks. Take it all with a healthy dose of skepticism.