Steve Spagnuolo deserves a lot of credit for the Kansas City Chiefs’ success in the playoffs this season. His ability to make in game adjustments to shut down the opposing offense was a major factor in all three come from behind postseason wins. One could argue that the Chiefs would not have won the Super Bowl without Spagnuolo as Defensive Coordinator.
Most NFL fans remember how the 2018 season ended for the Kansas City Chiefs. An overtime loss at home to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game left a dark shadow on a stellar season by the Chiefs offense. Patrick Mahomes had a brilliant year as the new face of the franchise, earning himself an MVP award. But as well as Mahomes played, he could not overcome the deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball.
Chiefs’ GM Brett Veach had little choice but to move on from DC Bob Sutton. In his last 3 seasons with the Chiefs, Sutton’s defenses ranked near the bottom of the league. He showed an inability to adjust during games and many times opposing offenses simply ran the ball down their throats. Which is exactly what happened in overtime in the AFCCG last season.
It was clear that the Chiefs’ defense needed a culture change. Sutton was sent packing along with a few veteran players with expensive contracts. Veach moved quickly to hire Steve Spagnuolo as the new DC. Hiring “Spags” and bringing in players with championship swagger like Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu proved to be the missing ingredients needed for the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl.
Deservedly so, Spagnuolo has been getting a ton of national media attention after winning his 2nd championship as a DC. In an interview with Moose and Maggie on WFAN, Spagnuolo was asked if he would like to be a head coach again. He quickly responded “absolutely” he would enjoy the opportunity to be a head coach.
“I would love to do that (be a head coach) again, but I will preface by saying I’ve got a really good job right now and want to just hang on to the one I got,” he said. “I know how this league is. But that burning desire is there. If it’s in God’s plans, it’ll happen. And if not, I’m still a very fortunate man, very, very blessed.”
While Spagnuolo has been extremely successful as a DC, he has been quite the opposite as a head coach. In his three years as the HC of the Saint Louis Rams, the team went 10-38. As the interim HC of the NY Giants in 2017, he was 1-3. Spags can’t really be blamed for the 2017 Giants. That team had already spiraled out of control when he took over. But he had three years with the Rams and his most successful season resulted in a 7-9 record. In the NFL, coaches don’t get very long to turn a team around, and Spagnuolo’s team was not trending in the right direction.
Currently though, Spagnuolo enjoys working for Andy Reid again. Reid’s assistant coaches have had success recently after moving on from the Chiefs. It’s possible that Spagnuolo is gaining valuable experience working alongside Reid that will serve him well when he gets another opportunity. If the Chiefs defense continues to improve under Spagnuolo, which it should as new players are added and they become more familiar with the defensive system, Spags will most likely get another shot at being a HC in the NFL. Chiefs fans hope that opportunity comes a few more years down the road after Spags has helped bring a couple more Lombardi Trophies to Kansas City.