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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Devaney Gets His Man

    By Howard Balzer
    Saturday, January 17, 2009


    Billy Devaney must be some sort of magician. Or at the very least, he had a connection with the football Gods. Devaney got the man he wanted as the Rams' next head coach, the one guy no one thought he could get.


    Saturday, Spagnuolo agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth a reported $11.5 million after spending two years as the New York Giants' defensive coordinator.


    Those football Gods were important because Devaney has Spagnuolo's mentor, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, to thank for his good fortune. It was the Eagles' defense that shut down the Giants last Sunday, clearing the way for Spagnuolo to be courted and hired.


    Philadelphia's 23-11 win over the Giants made Spagnuolo immediately available, when a Giants' victory might have resulted in what happened last year: Spagnuolo and the Giants advancing to the Super Bowl, making him off limits until early February.


    It seems obvious Devaney had Spagnuolo in his sights at the end of the week. After all, it was after Thursday's interview in Los Angeles with Spagnuolo that Devaney and owner Chip Rosenbloom got on the phone and told Jim Haslett he had been eliminated from consideration for the head coaching job.


    The money the Rams paid Spagnuolo, an average of $2.875 million a year, is above the going rate of $2.5 million a year for first-time head coaches. But Devaney's instincts say it was well worth it.


    Devaney said, “We considered some very qualified and outstanding candidates for this position, but we kept coming back to Steve Spagnuolo. Steve has been on some outstanding defensive staffs during his 10 seasons in the NFL. He represented what we were looking for when this process began.”


    Spagnuolo will be introduced to the local media at 11 am Monday at the team's Russell Training Facility and then travel with Devaney to Senior Bowl week in Mobile, Ala., as he works to hire a coaching staff.


    Devaney has a long-time relationship with Spagnuolo and that played a major role in both men's confidence that they can work together to improve the teams.


    Devaney said, "The relationship that I’ve had with Spags over the years going back to, I want to the 80’s and we were in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and (the Redskins') Charley Casserly hired Spags as an intern out of Springfield College. You could tell right then the guy, he had special qualities about him and he and I hit it off way back then and we always thought it would be neat if we got in a position to work together and be able to put a team together would be special.


    "That was kind of the tipping scale. It just got back to, I’ve known Spags for a long time and I just felt that working with him right now, the way he and I think, the way we think, I think it gives us a chance to get this thing going.”


    Early indications are that Spagnuolo will bring with him Giants quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer and secondary coach Peter Giunta as offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively. Giunta is no stranger to St. Louis: He was a Rams assistant from 1997-2000, and was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for his last three seasons before being fired by Mike Martz after the 2000 season.


    What kind of coach are the Rams getting? Said Giants defensive tackle Fred Robbins, "Everybody knows coach Spags turned this defense around in his two years here, but just that and his defense's stats are not what’s going to make him a good head coach. He is well-respected by all of us as players. He’s more than a coach, it's more than just football with coach Spags. He’s a mentor and takes a personal interest in his players. I wouldn’t say he’s a player's coach, but he knows what it takes to motivate his players. He gets us to work hard, but we have fun doing it and enjoy it, so it makes us want to work even harder."


  2. #2
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Guess it really was Devaney's man. Good to see another source saying that...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  3. #3
    bigredman Guest

    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

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    Spagnuolo gets an escape clause
    Posted by Mike Florio on January 18, 2009, 2:34 p.m.

    Like Bill Parcells in Miami, who can walk away with pay once Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga transfers control of the franchise to Stephen Ross, new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has finagled protection against a sale of the franchise for which he now works.

    According to Jay Glazer of FOX, Spagnuolo’s contract includes an escape clause, which allows him to walk away if/when the team is sold.

    It’s unknown whether Spagnuolo also gets the rest of his pay.

    Earlier in the day, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Spagnuolo was attractive to the Rams because their past two head-coaching hires had an offensive background — and both were fired.

    Mortensen also reported that the Rams moved when they did on Spagnuolo due to concerns that he’d emerge as a candidate to coach the Chiefs.

    As we understand it, G.M. Billy Devaney wanted Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. But, as we suggested last night, Garrett’s salary expectations allowed John Shaw to tilt the process toward Spagnuolo, who was Shaw’s first choice.
    I'm confused. Who's idea was it? Devaney's or Shaw's?

  4. #4
    PARamfan's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    I'm happy with this signing and happier still it WAS Devaney's call and NOT Shaw's.

  5. #5
    bigredman Guest

    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Posted by Mike Florio on January 18, 2009, 2:34 p.m.

    Like Bill Parcells in Miami, who can walk away with pay once Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga transfers control of the franchise to Stephen Ross, new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has finagled protection against a sale of the franchise for which he now works.

    According to Jay Glazer of FOX, Spagnuolo’s contract includes an escape clause, which allows him to walk away if/when the team is sold.

    It’s unknown whether Spagnuolo also gets the rest of his pay.

    Earlier in the day, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Spagnuolo was attractive to the Rams because their past two head-coaching hires had an offensive background — and both were fired.

    Mortensen also reported that the Rams moved when they did on Spagnuolo due to concerns that he’d emerge as a candidate to coach the Chiefs.

    As we understand it, G.M. Billy Devaney wanted Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. But, as we suggested last night, Garrett’s salary expectations allowed John Shaw to tilt the process toward Spagnuolo, who was Shaw’s first choice.
    I'm confused. Was it Shaw's call to select Spagnuolo or was it Devaney's? Sounds like some damage control is going on here.

  6. #6
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    I can't wait to see what Spagnoulo has to say at his press conference.

  7. #7
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by eric2810 View Post
    I can't wait to see what Spagnoulo has to say at his press conference.
    Nor can I, I'm excited for it, and I'll be scrambling all over just to find a live feed.

    Hopefully ESPNEWS broadcasts it.

  8. #8
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    I'm confused. Was it Shaw's call to select Spagnuolo or was it Devaney's? Sounds like some damage control is going on here.
    I'll believe Balzer's info on this before I'll believe the guys at ProFootballTalk.

  9. #9
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    I'm confused. Was it Shaw's call to select Spagnuolo or was it Devaney's? Sounds like some damage control is going on here.
    Red it was stated earlier in the same thread that that article was in that the writer isn't 100% believable on alot of his writings.

  10. #10
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I'll believe Balzer's info on this before I'll believe the guys at ProFootballTalk.
    I see you beat me to it Nick.It was probably you that said it earlier.

  11. #11
    HornIt Guest

    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    If Spags brings Peter Guinta in to be his DC, this will be very bizarre.

    I don't know how many people remember the history, but Bunting and Guinta were the Rams co-DC's under Vermeil. When Martz took over, he didn't like the co-DC idea and fired Bunting and kept Guinta as the DC for the 2000 season. Many, including myself, thought he fired the wrong one when he did it. I didn't understand why he'd want to mess with a good thing anyway. Bunting/Guinta worked, but apparently Bunting was very loyal to Vermeil and he and Martz didn't have a good relationship.

    Anyway, the Rams went on to have perhaps the worst defense I've ever seen with Guinta in 2000. Maybe even worse than Haslett's defenses. Martz essentially demoted him mid-season when he brought Bud Carson in to try and save things, but they never really could pull it together. Lovie Smith was hired after that season.

    So here we are now super happy with Spags, but back to Guinta as DC? That's a little bit scary. More than a little bit actually. Guinta was probably the most hated man in St. Louis during that 2000 season.

  12. #12
    PARamfan's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by HornIt View Post
    If Spags brings Peter Guinta in to be his DC, this will be very bizarre.

    I don't know how many people remember the history, but Bunting and Guinta were the Rams co-DC's under Vermeil. When Martz took over, he didn't like the co-DC idea and fired Bunting and kept Guinta as the DC for the 2000 season. Many, including myself, thought he fired the wrong one when he did it. I didn't understand why he'd want to mess with a good thing anyway. Bunting/Guinta worked, but apparently Bunting was very loyal to Vermeil and he and Martz didn't have a good relationship.

    Anyway, the Rams went on to have perhaps the worst defense I've ever seen with Guinta in 2000. Maybe even worse than Haslett's defenses. Martz essentially demoted him mid-season when he brought Bud Carson in to try and save things, but they never really could pull it together. Lovie Smith was hired after that season.

    So here we are now super happy with Spags, but back to Guinta as DC? That's a little bit scary. More than a little bit actually. Guinta was probably the most hated man in St. Louis during that 2000 season.
    Martz didn't fire Bunting,Bunting took a HC job in college.I don't remember what college but he left of his own accord.

  13. #13
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by HornIt View Post
    If Spags brings Peter Guinta in to be his DC, this will be very bizarre.

    I don't know how many people remember the history, but Bunting and Guinta were the Rams co-DC's under Vermeil. When Martz took over, he didn't like the co-DC idea and fired Bunting and kept Guinta as the DC for the 2000 season. Many, including myself, thought he fired the wrong one when he did it. I didn't understand why he'd want to mess with a good thing anyway. Bunting/Guinta worked, but apparently Bunting was very loyal to Vermeil and he and Martz didn't have a good relationship.

    Anyway, the Rams went on to have perhaps the worst defense I've ever seen with Guinta in 2000. Maybe even worse than Haslett's defenses. Martz essentially demoted him mid-season when he brought Bud Carson in to try and save things, but they never really could pull it together. Lovie Smith was hired after that season.

    So here we are now super happy with Spags, but back to Guinta as DC? That's a little bit scary. More than a little bit actually. Guinta was probably the most hated man in St. Louis during that 2000 season.
    I do agree with you though that Bunting was the better of the two DC's.

  14. #14
    HornIt Guest

    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by PARamfan View Post
    Martz didn't fire Bunting,Bunting took a HC job in college.I don't remember what college but he left of his own accord.

    No he didn't. Martz fired him. He then got a job with Haslett in New Orleans for a year. The following season he left for North Carolina.

  15. #15
    PARamfan's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Gets His Man

    Quote Originally Posted by HornIt View Post
    No he didn't. Martz fired him. He then got a job with Haslett in New Orleans for a year. The following season he left for North Carolina.
    You're right he was with the Saints in 2000.I didn't realise Martz FIRED him though.In any case another reason to not like Martz or want him back here.

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