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 Post subject: NFR: Anonymous Saints player thinks Spags should be fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Sounds very BVG-ish...

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutd ... nM-;_ylv=3

At least one Saints player believes that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo should be fired
By Doug Farrar | Shutdown Corner – 4 minutes 25 seconds ago
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It's safe to day that the first season for current New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo did not go well. The former New York Giants defensive coordinator and St. Louis Rams head coach, who replaced Gregg Williams as the man in charge of New Orleans' defense in January of 2012, oversaw a unit that set a new NFL record for the most yards allowed in a single season.

Not all of it was Spagnuolo's fault -- the Saints has age and injury issues, and the specter of the suspensions that never actually happened in the BountyGate case weighed heavily on Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, and their teammates, but the decline in defensive efficiency was precipitous enough to leave people wondering about Spagnuolo's fate when Sean Payton gets back in the building after the Super Bowl.

Once Payton is back on board, he'll have to go through a unique process when vetting his coaches and deciding who he wants to keep. One condition of his year-long suspension is that he cannot have contact with the team, and that's been the case but for a couple of exceptions -- he was allowed to watch Drew Brees break Johnny Unitas' record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, and he was allowed to negotiate and agree upon a new five-year extension.

But when Payton reviews and deduces how things went while he was away, he'll apparently have some very interesting discussions with his defenders when the subject of Spagnuolo comes up. Larry Holder of NOLA.com recently spoke with one current Saints defensive player who chose to remain anonymous, and who put Spagnuolo on full blast.

"Trust me, all the guys were being politically correct this season when answering questions [about] Spagnuolo," the player told Holder. "To give up what we gave up can't be all talent. Look at where his units [have] been ranked before. I think one top 10?"

Spagnuolo's start started to rise when the Giants defense he coached in 2007 manhandled Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. He got the Rams' head coaching job in 2008, and put together a 10-38 record in three seasons with a team that was rebuilding from nothing. His defenses finished 31st, 19th, and 21st in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted efficiency metrics in those three seasons, though the drafts put together by Spagnuolo and former general manager Billy Devaney did set things up for current head coach Jeff Fisher, whose Rams defense ranked 7th in those same stats in 2012.

According to the Saints player Holder spoke to, the problems with Spagnuolo go beyond scheme to communication and attitude.

"Players have no say in anything. It was [a] complete opposite from before where it was a simple [defense] that players had lot of control and say. We couldn't suggest [expletive] ... Nothing ever changed. It was his way only.
"Don't even get me started on lack [of] ability to adjust during games. Bad, bad, bad."

The player also said that every position group became frustrated with Spagnuolo, and that his style was part of the issue.

"He does have that good-guy persona, but he is a control freak and treats people like crap," the player said. "[Spagnuolo has] no patience and zero personality. [He] has a way of pissing players and our defensive coaches off with how he says and does things. [I] think it's even harder after having Gregg [Williams], who guys enjoyed."

The unfortunate part of the anonymous quote system is that we don't know whether this player, whoever he may be, has some sort of axe to grind. But there's no question that New Orleans' defense degraded pretty significantly on Spagnoulo's watch, and if he's alienated a lot of people in the process, it would be tough for him to meet the defense halfway and ask everyone to adjust to the ways he does things.

Sean Payton will have a long list of things to address upon his return, and it sounds as if the defensive coordinator position should rise right to the top.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Anonymous Saints player thinks Spags should be fire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:44 pm 
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think it's even harder after having Gregg [Williams], who guys enjoyed

That enjoyment worked out well, didn't it? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Anonymous Saints player thinks Spags should be fire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:08 pm 
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I am sick of hearing about how BountyGate ruined the Saints season. None of the players were suspended you lost a 2nd round pick and your coach was lost for the year, but I am sure he had communication with the team during his suspension because anything else wouldnt be Saint-like. They still had Brees and the same offense minus Meachum and Nicks whom they both replaced with Ben Grubbs and Josh Morgan (Grubbs for Nicks was a downgrade but Morgan for Meachum is Meh.) They just crapped the bed this year but Saints' fans will forever blame BountyGate for their horrible season.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Anonymous Saints player thinks Spags should be fire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:34 pm 
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The Mattural wrote:
I am sick of hearing about how BountyGate ruined the Saints season. ..<snip>. but Saints' fans will forever blame BountyGate for their horrible season.


What will be more interesting is that they're WAY over their cap room, and are going to have to do some major restructuring and/or cutting of players. I'm curious to see what they're going to do this off-season.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Anonymous Saints player thinks Spags should be fire
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:42 pm 
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The Mattural wrote:
I am sick of hearing about how BountyGate ruined the Saints season. None of the players were suspended you lost a 2nd round pick and your coach was lost for the year, but I am sure he had communication with the team during his suspension because anything else wouldnt be Saint-like. They still had Brees and the same offense minus Meachum and Nicks whom they both replaced with Ben Grubbs and Josh Morgan (Grubbs for Nicks was a downgrade but Morgan for Meachum is Meh.) They just crapped the bed this year but Saints' fans will forever blame BountyGate for their horrible season.
I get that your vitriol towards the Saints biases you slightly, but you have to realize that BountyGate was a major distraction for them all year long. Was it the lone cause of their bad season? No, but it certainly was significant.

You lose your head coach and defensive coordiantor. Then you're in a protracted contract dispute with your franchise QB. Many of the leaders in your locker room are suspended (Vilma, Smith) and instead of focusing on football all off-season long, they have to deal with the distraction of Payton, Brees, and Vilma.

If the Falcons had gone through the same things, you too would be blaming it for what would be their down season.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Anonymous Saints player thinks Spags should be fire
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:01 pm 
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The Colts didnt have thier Coach for much of the season and look at thier year. Their DC was already leaving to go and coach with his BFF Jeff Fisher. Plus non of the players served any suspensions, blaming BountyGate for this season is a copout by the Saints. I could see if they lost Brees for a significant amount of time (like we did with Vick when he went to the pokey) then you could use BG as an excuse. Plain and simple the Saints lost nine games because they didnt come to play.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Anonymous Saints player thinks Spags should be fire
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Look, in one sense I agree with you. Ultimately the Saints lost games because they didn't play well. But you can't separate their poor play from the fact that all off-season long they had this hanging over their heads.

They didn't have Payton throughout the off-seasons. Pagano was there all off-season. And you can't compare Pagano being gone due to cancer as the same as Payton being gone due to a suspension. One is likely to motivate players while the other isn't. Remember in '98, when Dan Reeves had the heart attack, the Falcons were lights out for the final 2 games in which Rich Brooks was the interim coach.

The Saints were 2-4 with Kromer, and 5-5 with Vitt. They were 2-1 under Vitt in games decided by 1 score or less, while 2-4 under Kromer. So one could argue that if Vitt had been around for the first 6 weeks, they might have turned 2 of those close losses into wins, meaning they could have finished the season 9-7 had Vitt been able to serve as the interim the entire year.

The Saints also played a fairly tough schedule with 6 games against playoff teams, which they went 1-5 in. That doesn't count their 1-1 record vs. DAL & NYG who also had winning records. The Colts of course had 5 games against playoff teams (6 vs. winning records). They went 3-2 vs. playoff teams, and 3-3 vs. teams with winning records. What's interesting about that is in games that Pagano coached them, they beat MIN, and HOU, but lost to CHI. Under Arians, the only teams they played with winning records were GB, HOU, and NE. NE and Houston both stomped them. And GB and the 2nd game (a win) vs. HOU were the two most prominent "Chuck-Strong" games because they were the first games he missed and the first game he was back for.

So while Arians did a good job keeping that team together, I don't think comparing a schedule that features teams like Miami, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Buffalo, and Detroit matches up with Kromer/Vitt's attempts to play teams like Atlanta, Giants, San Fran, Tampa Bay, Denver, etc.

In the end, the Saints had what was the 6th hardest schedule in the league, while the Colts had the 3rd easiest.

Look I get it. It's trash talk. You're not supposed to be "fair" or "unbiased" when it comes to fans of two teams talking back and forth.

In the end, the Saints s*** the bed and they had opportunities to win games that they didn't take advantage of. And part of that IMHO is because they were not a focused team throughout the entirety of the 2012 calendar year. To compare it to the Colts, who underwent a '08 Falcons-like transformation with a brand new front office, head coach, and QB is not a fair comparison. And their coach went away due to health reasons not because the NFL "unfairly" (that's in quotes because that is of course debatable) punished him for cheating. That's going to mess up your focus.

If you put the Falcons in the same situation next year, and Mike Smith is suddenly suspended from interacting with the team because he's been accused of something nefarious. Thomas Dimitroff is also forced to be away from the team, and some combination of assistant coaches that includes the offensive play-caller (Koetter) and DC (Nolan) being gone, so that someone like Robiskie was forced to call plays, and they had to install a brand new defensive scheme. And then on top of that you have players that spend their off-season rather than getting ready for hte season in legal and public opinion battles with the Commish, there's no way in hell you would think the Falcons would be able to pick up where they left off in 2012.

There's just no way that if in similar circumstances, Pat HIll and Robiskie and some brand new DC were being asked to "steward" this team in 2013, you would think they should be able to make the playoffs.

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