|At least one player isn't fond of Spagnuolo's coaching style. (US Presswire)|
There's a reason people say "winning fixes everything." Success overshadows most else, from personality conflicts to coaching shortcomings, and it's a lot easier to live with less-than-perfect working conditions if the end result is a championship.
That all changes when losing becomes a habit. The Jets are the obvious example, but on Tuesday, an anonymous Saints player blasted first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
"Trust me, all the guys were being politically correct this season when answering questions [about Spagnuolo]," the player told the Times-Picayune's Larry Holder. "It's bad."
When asked if Spagunolo should be fired, the player offered up a "resounding" yes.
|The home of the Super Bowl|
The Saints finished last in the league in total defense, allowing a mind-blowing 440 yards per game. The defense was just as inept when viewed through the prism of advanced metrics; according to Football Outsiders, New Orleans was equally as bad against the pass (28th) as the run (30th).
"To give up what we gave up can't be all talent," the player continued. "Look at where his units [have] been ranked before. I think one top 10?"
So other than getting treaded every week and losing nine times (the Saints combined for just eight losses the previous two seasons), what's the problem with Spagnuolo?
"Players have no say in anything," the player told Holder. "It was [a] complete opposite from before where it was a simple D 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."
Not surprisingly, we never heard complaints from the 2007 Giants, the team that beat the previously undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl thanks in part to a resurgent defense coordinated by -- you guessed it -- Spagnuolo.
"He does have that good-guy persona, but he is a control freak and treats people like crap," the Saints 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 [former defensive coordinator] Gregg [Williams], who guys enjoyed."
On Wednesday, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma wasn't particularly jazzed with the anonymous comments directed at Spagnuolo.
Specifically, Vilma told Holder: "I'm bothered you reported it. We're not the Jets, who run to the media for everything."
Vilma was asked if the player's comments were wrong. "That's not the question or the point," he said. "If he's man enough to tell you, he should be man enough to put his name on it. And you should do the same."
Tim Tebow agrees.
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