Ex-Giants, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo takes over as Chiefs defensive coordinator
The Chiefs parted ways with Bob Sutton this week after six seasons
Earlier this week, the Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, who had been with the team for the past six seasons. On Thursday, the Chiefs announced they had found their replacement: former New York Giants defensive coordinator and interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who also served as head coach of the then-St. Louis Rams from 2009 through 2011.
As Schefter noted in his original report of the team's interest, Spagnuolo and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid worked together in Philly. Spagnuolo was there for eight seasons, starting as a defensive assistant and working his way up to defensive backs coach and then linebackers coach before being hired by the Giants as their defensive coordinator in 2007. Spagnuolo helped the Giants win a Super Bowl and built another good defense before heading to the Rams in 2009. His defenses there were not quite as good, and he bounced around the league for a few years before landing back with the Giants in 2015.
The familiarity Spagnuolo has with Reid works in his favor, but his track record as a defensive play-caller should work against him.
Spagnuolo has had exactly two good defenses in nine years as a defensive play-caller, and the rest of them have been considerably below-average. His typical defense has ranked 20th to 21st in yards, points, and defensive efficiency, which, while an improvement over where the Chiefs ranked this past season, is still not great. Additionally, Spagnuolo has generally been a 4-3 coach and the Chiefs have been running a 3-4 base defense for a while now, so there would have to be a transition to a new style of play and presumably a changeover in personnel.
Spagnuolo hasn't been hired yet, obviously, but this is the only name we've heard connected with the job so far. Considering the quality of the Chiefs offense and the window they have with Patrick Mahomes looking like one of the best quarterbacks in the league for the foreseeable future, this is a hire the team really needs to nail so they can capitalize on their chances over the next few seasons.
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