Andy Reid tried to hire Steve Spagnuolo

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
2:33
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- So yeah, lots to report from Super Bowl media day and I'll get to it I promise. But before we get to the Giants and the Patriots, let's talk about the Philadelphia Eagles, whose head coach emerged from hiding Tuesday and addressed the local media back in the city of brotherly love on a variety of topics.

The big news to come out of Andy Reid's news conference was Reid's admission that he offered former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo a job. It had been widely believed that the Eagles might pursue Spagnuolo for the position of defensive coordinator even though current defensive coordinator Juan Castillo had not been (and still has not been, and won't be) let go. Reid told the Philly writers that he and Spagnuolo did not discuss the specific position for which he'd be hired, but that he made it clear he had no plans to let go of Castillo. Given all of that, it's easy to see why Spagnuolo preferred to take the defensive coordinator job with the New Orleans Saints.

We've discussed this before. While lots of people were assuming Spagnuolo, a former Reid assistant, would be a natural fit, I tried to make the point that other teams would be interested in him as well and that firing Castillo a year after moving him from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator would be an act of profound unfairness. Additionally, it seems as though Reid and the Eagles want to minimize the kinds of sweeping changes they made a year ago, since part of the problem they had this season was adjusting to all that was new.

It's surprising to hear Reid admit that he tried to bring Spagnuolo back. And it's possible, especially if it had been Spagnuolo's only offer, that an arrangement could have been worked out in which Spagnuolo became defensive coordinator and Castillo remained on the staff. What seems clear is that Reid believes both Spagnuolo and Castillo are good coaches, and that the opportunity to improve the overall quality of the defensive staff was appealing.

What's also clear, however, is that Reid is really "all in" with Castillo, and if the defense flops again and they miss the playoffs in 2012, they're all going to be in big trouble. Reid has decided to stick to his original plan and show faith in his people, which is admirable. We'll see whether it works.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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