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NFL Rumors: Steve Spagnuolo to Join Eagles After Being Fired by Rams

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24:  Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of St. Louis Rams watches his team play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the Christmas Eve game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
WesAnalyst IDecember 27, 2011

Rumors about Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo returning to Philadelphia as a defensive coordinator are circulating the Internet.

Spagnuolo's career 10-37 record with St. Louis has many speculating his final game as head coach will come this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers.

Spagnuolo will likely coach somewhere next year. And, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano, there is a possibility he could land a head coaching gig elsewhere is the Rams fire him.

But if Spagnuolo isn't a head coach, the logical place for him to go is Philadelphia, where he would take over as defensive coordinator for Juan Castillo.

The Eagles defense gave up three consecutive fourth-quarter comebacks early in the season under Castillo's direction. Things got worse for Castillo when the Eagles blew fourth-quarter leads to the Cardinals and Bears.

The team's inability to close games defensively contributed to an insurmountable 3-6 record and prevented the Eagles from making the playoffs.

The Eagles have played better over the last three weeks, but those strong defensive efforts came against Matt Moore, Mark Sanchez and Stephen McGee.

It only makes sense for Reid to bring in someone familiar with the team.

Spagnuolo would return to a franchise where he spent eight years. He was a defensive assistant from 1999-2000, defensive backs coach from 2001-03 and the linebackers coach from 2004-06.

But is Spags, as he is known, actually familiar with the current make up of this team?

Defensive line coach Jim Washburn implemented a wide-nine technique at the beginning of the season. Not only do the players line up on the field differently, but the amount of blitzes significantly decreases.

As a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Spags routinely blitzed and found creative ways to pressure the quarterback. The aggressive style led the Giants to a Super Bowl win over the 18-0 New England Patriots.

Yes, the Eagles have blitzed more often at the end of the season, but would they change their original philosophy with Spagnuolo on board?

And are teams beginning to figure out Spagnuolo's approach?

After a 1-15 campaign in his his first season, Spagnuolo turned things around and led the Rams to within a game of winning the NFC West with a 7-9 record.

With raised expectations, St. Louis reverted back to the "Old Rams", and they are staring at a 2-14 season this year.

Wouldn't it also be more beneficial to keep some consistency at defensive coordinator? A change would bring in the third different coach in as many years, which would call for yet another new system to be installed.

Don't forget about Castillo either. Andy Reid is pretty loyal to his coaches and would not put Castillo out of a job. Where does he put Castillo?

Spagnuolo to the Eagles sounds like a perfect fit. But with so many questions, it may not happen.

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