The Super Bowl is coming soon and obviously, the New York Giants weren’t one of the teams that came into the playoffs with a chance to win the Lombardi Trophy. However, one of their former coordinators is going to the Super Bowl, and that’s Steve Spagnuolo, who reached the game with the Chiefs. This comes surprisingly soon after the Giants fired Spagnuolo after a poor season which saw him replaced by James Bettcher…
However, obviously, Bettcher’s defense didn’t do much better and Bettcher himself was fired from the Giants along with Pat Shurmur and many of the other staff members that were in charge for the 2019 season. That’s not to say that Spagnuolo’s defense was good in his last season with the Giants, but could the team have made a better decision than replacing him with a risky choice who was immediately revealed to not pan out?
The Giants defense had a number of holes in it and Dave Gettleman’s first couple years have been rebuilding ones, not winning ones. The secondary isn’t good now but it also wasn’t great when Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator, and it didn’t help that run stopping defensive tackle Damon Harrison was traded mid season, taking away much of the production at that position for the Giants.
Long story short, there’s not a lot of defensive coordinators that could have won with the defense that Spagnuolo had in New York and the coordinator that the Giants replaced Spagnuolo with immediately tanked and had less of a track record behind him entirely than Spagnuolo did.
Now, a couple of seasons after being fired from the Giants, Spagnuolo has coached a Chiefs defense that will play in the Super Bowl. Sure, the Chiefs are known primarily for their offense, but it’s still impossible to make the Super Bowl without good defensive performances. Spagnuolo still deserves some credit for the success the Chiefs have had in making the Super Bowl, and his defense may just play a big role in winning the whole thing.
It shows that his firing wasn’t just a matter of lacking talent, which was the cause of the last two head coach firings.
Hindsight is 20/20 though and the Giants had to make changes to try to get out of the spot they were in – but perhaps the firing of Spagnuolo should have been thought out a bit more. Firing the experienced defensive coordinator is one thing, but firing one without having a replacement who is just as good lined up and taking a risk on someone like James Bettcher is another story.
That’s the move the Giants made, though, and so soon enough, they’ll watch their former defensive coordinator coach in the Super Bowl while last season’s coordinator looks for work after an unceremonious final season and firing.