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Thread: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

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    Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    1 hour ago • By Jeff Gordon

    Coaches learn the Xs and Os of their industry while climbing the competitive ladder. They should also master the necessary people skills, as the Rams and New Orleans Saints can tell you.

    Former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo lacks those skills. He left a trail of enemies during his reign of error at Rams Park. His tenure as Saints defensive coordinator isn't going much better.

    Former Saints and Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has those skills. He is regarded as a "player's coach," very popular in the locker room. Alas, his "Bountygate" scandal left him much less popular with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. His career is in jeopardy as a result.

    Former Rams linebacker coach Blake Williams lacks his father's interpersonal skills, which is why he is now freshly unemployed. His career took a wrong turn in his father's absence this season.

    Here is how it all connects:

    The Rams are searching for a new defensive coordinator. Gregg Williams had the job, briefly, before Goodell suspended him indefinitely for his role in “Bountygate." In his father’s absence, linebackers coach Blake Williams, 28, became the de facto defensive play-caller for coach Jeff Fisher.

    The younger Williams alienated players and co-workers alike with his brusque manner. So Fisher fired him.

    Now Gregg and Blake reside in coaching limbo, waiting to see if Goodell ever allows the elder Williams to coach again. The Rams are looking outside the organization to replace them — and Tipsheet guesses the organization won’t try to bring Spanguolo back from New Orleans.

    Spagnuolo replaced Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator in New Orleans after losing his head coaching job here. His first season there did not go well.

    This week, an unnamed Saints player described Spagnuolo as “a control freak” who “treats people like (bleep).”

    (The assorted victims of Spagnuolo's Rams Park purge nod their heads at that assessment.)

    The Saints lost head coach Sean Payton to a year-long “Bountygate” suspension. Interim coach Joe Vitt served a six-game suspension to start the season. Spagnuolo’s coaching role became especially critical, given that early-season leadership vacuum.

    The Saints defense started poorly and stayed bad most of the season. The unit ranked last in the NFL in total defense and rushing defense and 31st in passing defense and scoring defense.

    “Players have no say in anything,” the unnamed player told the New Orleans Times Picayune. “It was (a) complete opposite from before where it was a simple D that players had a 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.”

    Yeah, all of this sounds pretty familiar to the Rams. After breaking the initial story and causing a ruckus, the newspaper sought additional player reaction.

    Linebacker Curtis Lofton offered this semi-endorsement of his coordinator: “One thing I can say about Spags is that he definitely cares about us as a coach would care for you. Of course, things this season didn't go the way any of us hoped it would go, but at the same time I'm a firm believer in the system that we're in and that we will definitely get things corrected.”

    Linebacker Jonthan Vilma criticized the newspaper for quoting an unnamed player. But did the story mischaracterize Spagnuolo?

    “That's not the question or the point,” Vilma 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.”

    So in other words, no, the report did not malign Spagnuolo unfairly.

    Former Saints and Rams fullback Mike Karney weighed in via Twitter. He has been critical of Spagnuolo ever since the Rams cut him.

    A follower asked: “Do you think Spags is a poor coach, or poor at relating to his players? Or both?”

    Karney responded: “Both. The article was spot on.”

    Spagnuolo’s job could be in jeopardy. Payton is officially suspended through the Super Bowl, but in the interim Vitt and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis could read his mind and grab a new coordinator off the spinning coaching carousel.

    As for the Williamses, they will have to wait for their next opportunity. Let's hope Blake learned more from his aborted tenure at Rams Park than Spagnuolo did.


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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    Is it me, or is this kind of a petty article?

    Frankly, I don't care about how Spagnuolo is perceived by Mike Karney or some "unnamed player" on the Saints.

    He's our FORMER head coach.

    I've moved on.

    Gordon should too.

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    I agree, we should move on......This past year was made infinitely easier to do just that....I will say, the one thing that jumped out at me was the bit about lack of adjustments.....that certainly was one of my biggest issues during spags tenure with Rams. It was a breath of fresh air to see adjustments made throughout game this past season,

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Is it me, or is this kind of a petty article?

    Frankly, I don't care about how Spagnuolo is perceived by Mike Karney or some "unnamed player" on the Saints.

    He's our FORMER head coach.


    I've moved on.

    Gordon should too.
    Gordon's still ticked off about Hewitt.

    (Must have been a source for him).

    Edit - my bad. It was actually J.T. Thomas who went on and on about Hewitt.
    Last edited by VegasRam; -01-04-2013 at 02:39 PM.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    When you put 2 and 2 together it makes sense how we failed under Spags and the same thing is reoccuring with him coaching in New Orleans. As a detective your not allowed to believe in coincidences.

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiaRam View Post
    When you put 2 and 2 together it makes sense how we failed under Spags and the same thing is reoccuring with him coaching in New Orleans. As a detective your not allowed to believe in coincidences.
    Dude, are you quoting Batman? lol. I just watched it.
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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    This article is so bitter for some reason

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    I, for one, like the article. As a coach, I am interested in both the positive and negative aspects of the profession. Anything that sheds light on WHY someone is successful or unsuccessful appeals to me. While I do not dwell on the Spagnuolo Era, he is a part of our history, and talking about him is no less appropriate than speaking about any other player or coach in our team's past. Because he is currently active in the NFL, he is still relevant and open for discussion.

    The article is spot on, in my opinion, and depicts Spags as he really is- A "my way or the highway" guy who is threatened by suggestions or perceived threats to his way of doing things. This was played out at Rams Park for 3 seasons as he worried about small, irrelevant matters and micromanaging everything. His insecurity caused him to surround himself with people he perceived to be less knowledgable than he, and thus hurt our football team. His inability to make adjustments was clear to any Rams fan who watched a football game last year and just as painful to Saints fans this season. He benefitted in NY by having talented stars like Michael Strahan around who got hot at the right time and stepped in sh** vs. the Cheatriots, but showed he's just another pedestrian coach with an average cast this year in New Orleans. And while most players don't publicly bad mouth their coaches and burn bridges, the negative comments reflect an element of strong distaste for Spags' way of doing things.

    I campaigned for Jeff Fisher, love the direction the Rams are headed and have certainly "moved on" from the Spags "error". That doesn't mean a lesson can't be learned from this article.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -01-03-2013 at 10:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1
    The article is spot on, in my opinion, and depicts Spags as he really is- A "my way or the highway" guy who is threatened by suggestions or perceived threats to his way of doing things. This was played out at Rams Park for 3 seasons as he worried about small, irrelevant matters and micromanaging everything.
    And how do you know how Spags "really is"? All you know is what one columnist told another columnist about what an unnamed source said.

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    And how do you know how Spags "really is"? All you know is what one columnist told another columnist about what an unnamed source said.
    Over the past 1-1 1/2 years, I have either read or heard several accounts- this one being the latest- of Spags being a micromanager, insecure and too rigid in his approach to many aspects of football. It goes beyond one columnist or one disgruntled player, and these issues appear to have surfaced during his time as both Rams head coach and in his brief tenure with New Orleans. I tend to lend a degree of creedence to them, and thus my perception of Spags.
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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    And how do you know how Spags "really is"? All you know is what one columnist told another columnist about what an unnamed source said.
    They said the samething about spags here... He was on a power trip, didnt welcome ex coaches to rams park, was always worried about other peoples job that didnt neccesary relate to football (ie eq manager). And WE seen 1st hand he never adjusted to anything every game, on the field. Not to mention he lack confidence (which was said by players, media, and you can see it in his press conferences). His favorite phrase "I dont know" or "ill have to get back with you on that". Do u not remember??
    MauiRam and NJ Ramsfan1 like this.

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    Don't believe everything you read, including this sentence, which might mean that you should believe everything you read, including this sentence.

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Don't believe everything you read, including this sentence, which might mean that you should believe everything you read, including this sentence.
    Well, that's part of how we form opinions, no? We have the option of whether or not to think there's legitimacy behind some of the claims expressed about Spags. I happen to think there's enough validity from multiple columnists, players and others in the know to suggest Spags has some serious flaws and impediments to success.

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    Since you asked... no, that's not how I form opinions.

    Maybe its what I do for a living, but I don't form opinions on the basis of hearsay and unverified citations to anonymous sources. In my vernacular, that type of evidence is inadmissible.

    Spags was an ineffective head coach. At this point, I don't really care why.

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    Re: Tipsheet: Spags didn't learn from Rams failure

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Since you asked... no, that's not how I form opinions.

    Maybe its what I do for a living, but I don't form opinions on the basis of hearsay and unverified citations to anonymous sources. In my vernacular, that type of evidence is inadmissible.

    Spags was an ineffective head coach. At this point, I don't really care why.
    Well, the court of public opinion is what's relevant here, and this isn't the courtroom. And while one certainly shouldn't "believe everything they read" or form judgments solely on rumor, most people in the real world place relevance on statements expressed by numerous people close to a given situation. "Hearsay" can't be used in court, but it could still very well be truthful. And in this instance, the opinions shared about Spags seem legit.

    And since coaching is what I DO for a living, I DO CARE about why Spags was an ineffective head coach. Those who cannot learn from past mistakes are condemned to repeat them- which is the crux of this article.
    MauiRam likes this.

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