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Like Peyton, Spagnuolo Sought Advice From Eli Manning, Too

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  • Like Peyton, Spagnuolo Sought Advice From Eli Manning, Too

    10.26.2009 6:03 pm
    Like Peyton, Spagnuolo sought advice from Eli Manning, too
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is not above some stealth work to try to gain an edge. As his team prepared for Sunday’s game against the Colts, Spagnuolo said he “caught wind” of QB Peyton Manning seeking advice from younger brother Eli — the Giants’ QB — on how to attack Spagnuolo’s defense. Spagnuolo was the Giants’ defensive coordinator for two seasons before the Rams hired him this year.

    Turnabout, Spagnuolo decided, is fair play.

    “I left a message for (Chris Palmer, the Giants QB coach): ‘Tell Eli it’s only fair I should get a couple of pointers on Peyton,’” Spagnuolo said Monday. “But I never got a phone call. Eli must’ve had a few things on his mind.”

    Helping Spagnuolo beat his brother probably wasn’t one of them, though.

    Notes & quotes:

    *Peyton Manning has played in 35 stadiums, and before Sunday the Edward Jones Dome was one of just two in which he hadn’t produced a victory. After Indy’s 42-6 spanking of the Rams, the only one left now is Qwest Field in Seattle.

    *CB Bradley Fletcher and LS Chris Massey suffered season-ending knee injuries Sunday.

    *G Richie Incognito (foot) will be out at least a week. The other injuries are considered minor: DL C.J. Ah You (ankle), DE Leonard Little (neck) and WR Donnie Avery (shoulder).

    *CB Justin King and DE James Hall, both out Sunday with groin injuries, are expected back this week.

    *Spagnuolo said he hadn’t considered using rookie QB Keith Null in mop-up duty but didn’t rule out getting him some work down the road.

    *Spagnuolo noted that the Rams had a chance to make it a one-score game as late as the third quarter. “The way I look at it, we were in the thing in the third quarter at 21-6. If you make one play and it’s 21-13, the pressure kind of converts over to the other sideline,” he said. “So to me, we were that close. It got away at the end, and the result wasn’t great.”

    *The Rams threw three times to RBs Steven Jackson and Kenneth Darby (one catch for -1 yards) and five times to TEs Randy McMichael and Daniel Fells (three catches for 16 yards). Asked if that was enough pass attempts for those positions, Spagnuolo became a bit defensive. “It depends on how many times you’re throwing it,” he said. “If you throw the ball 50 times, those numbers are probably too low. If you throw the ball 20 times . . . I’m not into numbers. You get the ball to the open guy. Maybe they were taken away.”

    All for now…

Related Topics


  • BM_Face
    Spagnuolo told wife: We're not talking to Harbaughs again
    by BM_Face
    · Marc Sessler
    · Published: Sept. 27, 2011 at 09:46 a.m

    Three straight defeats for the Rams have been made worse for coach Steve Spagnuolo in that each drubbing was dished out by an old friend.

    Coaches Andy Reid, Tom Coughlin and John Harbaugh -- all close associates of Spagnuolo -- have outscored St. Louis by a combined 60 points in the first three weeks of the season.
    After the Ravens didn't shy away from running up the score in Sunday's 37-7 drubbing, Spagnuolo put any future get-togethers with the Harbaughs on ice.

    According to The Associated Press, when Spagnuolo got home Sunday night, he instructed his wife Maria, "We're not ever talking to them again."

    Spagnuolo backed off that stance Monday, acknowledging that losing to friends is part of the business.

    "Let me tell you something: John Harbaugh's a competitor now. So I know that in him," Spagnuolo said. "I've got no problem with it. I did feel one way yesterday, but I calmed down and looked at it."

    Even if it was Mrs. Spagnuolo who calmed her husband down, we hope the Rams coach understands the primary reason for Sunday's lopsided loss: the Ravens are, well, more talented and scored easily on a defense that ranks 31st in the league. Heading into this season, St. Louis was viewed as one of the league's hot, young teams -- but less than a month in, it's only Spagnuolo's seat that's heating up.
    -09-27-2011, 10:47 AM
  • RamWraith
    Spagnuolo is grateful for his time with the Giants
    by RamWraith
    by Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger
    Friday January 23, 2009, 8:34 PM

    Steve Spagnuolo, the new coach of the St. Louis Rams, believes his replacement as the Giants' defensive coordinator, Bill Sheridan, is ready for the challenge. When the outsider conducted his first meeting two years ago, he could have been met with any number of negative reactions: jealousy, envy, bitterness or skepticism. He, no more than a position coach his entire career, had been hired as the Giants' defensive coordinator over three other position coaches -- one of them a former coordinator.

    But Steve Spagnuolo encountered something different from line coach Mike Waufle, linebackers coach Bill Sheridan and secondary coach Peter Giunta: teamwork.

    "When I walked in that room for the first time, there were guys in there that were just as qualified as I was to do that job and yet, to a man, they were loyal, they worked together as a group. They were just outstanding," Spagnuolo, the new head coach of the Rams, said by phone Friday. "I was very, very fortunate it worked out that way for me."

    This time, with Spagnuolo gone to St. Louis earlier this week, the new defensive coordinator came from within. Sheridan, the former University of Michigan assistant who spent the past four seasons with the Giants, was tabbed as Spagnuolo's replacement.

    If the Giants hadn't promoted Sheridan, he might be with Spagnuolo as the Rams' defensive coordinator. Instead, he has been charged with taking over a unit that finished seventh and fifth in the NFL over the past two seasons, respectively.

    Spagnuolo believes Sheridan is ready for the challenge, though he knows there will be adjustments to Sheridan's daily routine that must be made.

    "The thing that hits you immediately is you walk in your office and you have a list of A, B, C, D and E, and you think you're going to knock it right out," Spagnuolo said when asked about his transition from Eagles assistant to Giants coordinator. "What you have to realize is there are five other people depending on you. And if one of those five walks in your office and needs help, you have to drop everything you're doing and take care of them.

    "You now have people that rely on you and they're more important than anything you're doing at a particular moment."

    As for changes to a system that generated outstanding pressure on the quarterback in 2007 and a pretty good push for much of this season, Spagnuolo thinks they'll be only slight tweaks. After all, he said his blitz packages were a result of a group effort between himself and Sheridan, as well as input from Waufle, Giunta and safeties coach David Merritt.

    "I'm sure he'll put his own personal touch on it," Spagnuolo said, adding: "Anything Bill adds or deletes will be to make the defense...
    -01-24-2009, 05:13 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Spagnuolo Isn't Ready To Panic
    by r8rh8rmike
    Spagnuolo isn't ready to panic

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    With a season-opening schedule of Philadelphia and the New York Giants, who have combined to win nine of the past 11 NFC East titles, it's not necessarily surprising that the Rams are 0-2. It's more how they've gotten there.

    "We're certainly not where we want to be, record-wise or performance-wise," coach Steve Spagnuolo said Tuesday, after reviewing tape of the Rams' 28-16 Monday night loss to the Giants. "But I will say this, we've always said this: It's not about how you start, it's how you finish. Now, you can only use that saying for so long because then you start running out of games."

    Although concerned, Spagnuolo isn't about to panic, and he speaks from the vantage point of someone who was defensive coordinator of a Giants team in 2007 that lost its first two games— giving up 80 points in the process — and went on to win the Super Bowl. No one, Spagnuolo included, is saying that's going to happen here. But he's not giving up on the season, either, not three weeks into September.

    "We'll just forge ahead," Spagnuolo said. "We've got some good coaches here and we've got some good players. Nobody here is going to feel sorry for us. We're not going to feel sorry for ourselves. And we're going to go back to work."

    So he's locked into the task at hand, namely, addressing a long laundry list of areas that need improvement and preparing for another formidable foe this Sunday in the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

    "What we intend to do is learn from what's happened so far and move forward," Spagnuolo said. "That's just how we operate and what we'll do. There are certain things that are very visible, that being turnovers and penalties."

    He could add numerous other entries to the "very visible" list, such as red zone ineptitude, dropped passes and just plain dumb football. Falling into the latter category would be what happened to running back Cadillac Williams when he couldn't hang on to a backwards pass from quarterback Sam Bradford and then became a spectator as Giants linebacker Michael Boley scooped up the ball and raced 65 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.

    As of Tuesday afternoon, Spagnuolo said he still hadn't talked to Williams about the play. That is, not counting Spagnuolo's sideline "lecture" immediately after the play. Other than players needing treatment, Tuesday was a day off for them.

    During his postgame media session Monday at MetLife Stadium, Spagnuolo gave Williams the benefit of the doubt, saying that perhaps the team hadn't worked on or discussed what to do in such situations. However, any such benefit of the doubt was removed Tuesday.

    "I do know this, in talking with the offensive coaches, we...
    -09-21-2011, 03:32 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Rams' Spagnuolo Not Second-Guessing Decisions
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams’ Spagnuolo not second-guessing decisions

    By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
    13 hours, 16 minutes ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP)—A day after a three-point loss to the Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo declined to second-guess decisions that factored into the defeat.

    Spagnuolo said on Monday that he still would have burned more than a half-minute off the clock at the end of the first half and settled for a field goal, and he still would have punted on fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter and counted on a defense that had given up huge chunks of yards on the ground to get the ball back.

    Instead of going for the big plays, the Rams played not to lose.

    Spagnuolo is 10-33 with five games to go in his third season. It’s a challenging stretch that could determine whether he keeps his job.

    The Rams (2-9) are 13-point underdogs at San Francisco this week and, counting the rematch in the season finale against the *****, the next five opponents are a combined 38-17.

    “Do you mean, how do I handle this San Francisco game right here this week?” Spagnuolo said. “You guys know how I’m wired.”

    The coach believes players are still buying in, if a bit beat down.

    “You have to forget about it and move on, but as a competitor they’re going to really get under your skin,” middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “I hate losing, I hate losing, and am never going to get used to losing.

    “Nobody should in this locker room, in this organization.”

    There’s no looking back for Spagnuolo. He wouldn’t have taken a few more shots at the end zone and tried to give the Rams a 14-3 cushion before halftime. He had to be talked into allowing one try before bringing on the field goal unit.

    “It was a conservative approach, no question,” Spagnuolo said. “And you could have gone another way.”

    In this case, Spagnuolo got the sense the offense was reeling. After Brandon Lloyd’s 26-yard reception to the 3 with 43 seconds left in the first half, the Rams went in reverse with a botched play call that resulted in a false-start penalty but easily could have been whistled for delay of game, and Sam Bradford was sacked for a 9-yard loss the next play.

    “Obviously, we put ourselves in a pretty bad situation,” Bradford said.

    Spagnuolo wouldn’t say what happened on the play from the 3, but indicated a lot had gone wrong.

    “There were a lot of things going on,” the coach said. “There were too many issues. We need to get that play off.”

    Spagnuolo also revealed he was thinking field goal right after Lloyd’s catch, going through “what if” scenarios in his mind that only got reinforced after two failures.

    “Do we want to get a touchdown? Yeah,” Spagnuolo said. “I was going to bring it all the way down...
    -11-29-2011, 03:06 PM
  • MauiRam
    Bernie: Spagnuolo ready to tackle season ..
    by MauiRam
    By Bernie Miklasz Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:35 am

    Steve Spagnuolo is absolutely, positively ready for his second season as the Rams' head coach.

    We know this because he's sleeping in the bathroom again.

    Umm ... the bathroom?

    Yes, it's tucked in the back of his office on the second floor at Rams Park. The bathroom has the usual amenities, including a shower, a lavatory and toiletries. But last season Spagnuolo added a single bed.

    And when the coach stays up late at the office, reviewing video, he tries to sleep in the bathroom for a few hours to save time and make a quick pivot back to work in the morning.

    Not that a 1-15 rookie coach can sleep peacefully. When I asked Spagnuolo what it was like to go 1-15 last season as a rookie coach, he laughed and pointed to the bathroom. "You see that small little room? I spent some time back there," he said.

    Probably getting sick to his stomach from the pain and anguish of losing. Or perhaps it was his refuge. Spagnuolo would close the door and try to sort everything out in his mind.

    Emotionally and mentally, Spagnuolo absorbed quite a beating last season. His relentlessly upbeat nature was tested as never before. He won a single game. In the 15 losses, his team was outscored 426-148. Some of his friends wondered if Spagnuolo had made a career-smothering mistake by leaving his post as the New York Giants' successful defensive coordinator to take on such a thankless, hopeless job.

    "I don't think this way," Spagnuolo said. "I don't know about people saying that it might kill my career, because I simply don't think that way, go through life that way. I've always had to do things this way."

    Spagnuolo smiled, noted his diminutive stature and added, "At 5-8, and always having to overcome things, it's never been easy for me. I wouldn't know how to go into a situation where it was easy. I only know about starting from a tough situation and working from there. Maybe I function better that way. It hasn't been easy. It's been trying. Have I even wavered at times? Sure, I'm human. But I've never let it last long."

    It explains why Spagnuolo became a buzzsaw center on his high school ice hockey team at Grafton, Mass. He was an aggressive pest who would torment taller and more skilled opponents. He played second base on the state championship baseball team. He was a quarterback who ran the wishbone offense. Go ahead. Try to knock him down.

    This resolve carried Spagnuolo through coaching stops that took him around the world over a 27-year period before he became the Rams' coach. The odyssey took him to three countries, six colleges and four professional teams in small towns and big cities.

    When asked why he hired the largely unknown Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator, Giants coach...
    -09-09-2010, 12:48 AM