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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The latest on Steve Spagnuolo

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Remember the Family Guy episode where they talk about the Emperor figuring out the secret to great Star Wars dialogue, and they cut away to him and he's going, "Something something daaark siiiide... something something complete..."? Well, I kind of feel like, if I want to do a Philadelphia Eagles post these days, I could just write, "Something something Steve Spagnuolo something something Eagles..."

To that end, as Eagles fans continue to ponder whether Spagnuolo will return to the organization and replace Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator, here is the latest:

1. Our Adam Schefter is reporting that Spagnuolo interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts on Monday for their defensive coordinator position. The Colts just fired head coach Jim Caldwell, so things are clearly in flux there, but if they interviewed a defensive coordinator candidate before firing their head coach, you'd have to think they either know who their head coach is going to be or they're not going to let him pick his own. Regardless, the Colts are a team to add to the list of teams interested in Spagnuolo.

2. You can subtract a team, too, as the Falcons have hired Mike Nolan to be their defensive coordinator. Atlanta was one of the teams reportedly interested in Spagnuolo, along with the Colts, Eagles and Saints. If Spagnuolo was their first choice (and we don't know that he was), then the Nolan hire would indicate that Spagnuolo had turned down the Falcons and decided where to go. But that's speculation, so please don't take it any other way.

3. Castillo still has the job. This is an important thing to remember. The Eagles finished eighth in the league in total defense, and a lot of things happened throughout the year to indicate dramatic improvement under Castillo in his first year as a defensive coach. It's possible the Eagles don't want to make major changes to the defensive coaching staff for the second year in a row. Jim Washburn is also still in place as defensive line coach, and his arrival a year ago prompted a change in the Eagles' defensive scheme. Assuming Washburn stays (and doesn't jump to St. Louis with his former Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher), you wonder whether a new coordinator could overrule Washburn's belief in the "Wide 9" scheme that got so much publicity (and a certain degree of public scorn) in Philadelphia this year.

It's not as simple as just hiring Spagnuolo, even if the Eagles are the team to which he wants to go. Lot of moving parts yet. But now that Andy Reid is back from his vacation and some coaches are starting to settle into new roles around the league, things could pick up on this front soon.