What’s next for Spagnuolo, Rams?

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Medium-sized Lebowski
Jun 20, 2010
The Dude
by Scott Bierman, FootballStL
Posted on December 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM
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(FootballStL) -- Only ten wins in 45 games as a head coach. The league’s worst scoring offense. The league’s worst rushing defense. Nine double-digit losses through 13 games in 2011.

Just those reasons should be enough to fire a head coach. But before you gather the pitchforks and flamethrowers and run Steve Spagnuolo (and possibly myself) out of town...hear me out. Spagnuolo should neither be fired nor be on a “hot seat.”

The NFL is a league where only performance should matter. Teams live by wins and die by losses. Well, Spagnuolo now has a head coaching record of 10-35 following the St. Louis Rams’ 30-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. I’ll admit, that record is terrible.

But everyone should cut Spags some slack for his first season here when the Rams went 1-15 with an obviously talent-challenged football team. Okay, so we erase that tragedy from our minds and it makes Spagnuolo 9-20 since. Still a terrible record, but not as bad looking.

So the team drafts Sam Bradford and things are looking up after just missing the playoffs (somehow) with a 7-9 record in 2010. Spagnuolo is looking better.

And then the tragedy of 2011 happens and will continue to for another three weeks for the Rams. Spagnuolo refuses to make excuses for why the team is 2-11 so I will take it upon myself and do it for him.

Injuries. New offensive coordinator. Second-year quarterback. More injuries.

During the Monday Night Football broadcast, the commentators said the Rams have about one-third of the roster of players who were not in training camp with the team this season. Why? Because of injuries. The Rams have had to place over ten defensive backs on IR this season.

Earlier I wrote that the league is about performance, but it is also about continuity. Injuries damage continuity like Kim Kardashian damages the sanctity of marriage (sorry, I had to take one final stab at her). Lack of continuity obviously creates miscommunication, especially for the offensive line, that creates sacks that creates Bradford nursing a sore ankle that creates another injury that creates more miscommunication for the team that results in a massive headache for fans to watch.

With it being only Bradford’s second season in the league, he is becoming familiar to other teams and is still learning to adjust to the game as it is needed. Just because he was Rookie of the Year does not mean one can expect him to win the Super Bowl in next year. If the Rams had a veteran quarterback, such as Drew Brees or Peyton Manning, and were 2-11 then Spagnuolo would need to go.

Not only is Bradford adjusting to the competition in his second-year, but he is also adjusting to a new offensive coordinator. You would assume that the Rams would fire most of the coaching staff if Spagnuolo would be let go. That could mean that Josh McDaniels would end up being let go and next season would mark the third straight year Bradford would have to learn a new offense under a new offensive coordinator. That could end up putting the team back even farther than it is now.

(There is a solid chance that McDaniels gets a shot at the head coaching position in Kansas City following this season.)

So what could the Rams do? Personally, I think they should retain Spagnuolo for next season and see how the team performs in the first six to eight games. If it is poor, by all means, Spagnuolo should be axed. Plus, firing Spagnuolo now would do nothing but maybe spark the team to win a few games and hurt the team’s chances to have the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (kidding...sort of). So whether you agree or not...please don’t come after me with the pitchforks.


May 28, 2011
Keep the current coaching staff and give them about half a season to show they're capable.

If Josh is hired away (which I doubt) then I would say try to hire Norv Turner if we can, I think he would be the best option out there.

Oh, but change out some assistants, line coach for sure, I'd like a new WR coach as well.


Pro Bowler
Jun 24, 2010
bluecoconuts said:
Keep the current coaching staff and give them about half a season to show they're capable.

If Josh is hired away (which I doubt) then I would say try to hire Norv Turner if we can, I think he would be the best option out there.

Oh, but change out some assistants, line coach for sure, I'd like a new WR coach as well.

Id be ok with this. Im ok with whatever Kroenke decides to do. If the staff is retained, Spags, Bradford, and McD need to get together during the offseason and get on the same page. What direction is the offense moving in? What is Bradford comfortable doing? What adjustments should McD make when it comes to playcalling?

If we did make a bunch of changes, I wouldnt mind seeing the new GM come from GB. Dont have a specific name, I just admire that organization and the work they have done. At HC, Rob Chudzinski, im not sure if hes ready to make the jump yet (id still be willing to take a chance on another rookie HC), but if Cam Newton and the Panthers offense continue to improve he will get a shot at a HC job down the road. Hes been a TE coach and an OC at the college level (Miami) and the NFL (Cleveland, San Diego). Maybe he could bring Turner to be the OC lol.


Hall of Fame
Jun 23, 2010
I'd rather see a guy like Brad Childress show up next season to coordinate the offense. He made T-Jax look good in streaks, even Joe Webb was able to show flashes. Maybe even Mike Tice, not sure he'd cut it as an OC, but he may be cool sticking to OL coach. The Bears have a pretty atrocious line, but he's been able to coach them up pretty well.

I'd like a new WR coach as well.

Not sure why Cromwell, a former great DB, is coaching WRs anyway. Maybe he'd move to DBs and a search for a more competent position coach could commence. (Bruce anybody?)