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NY Media Wants Spagnuolo

Gary Myers of the Daily News and Brian Costello of the New York Post agree on whom the next head coach of the Jets should be.

Myers wants Steve Spagnuolo mainly on the premise Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, and John Fox all became successful head coaches after serving as a Giants defensive assistant. If all of these guys made the transition well, obviously Spagnuolo will also.

But all those trees may be overshadowed by the former Giants defensive coordinators who excelled in that high pressure position and went on to do great things as head coaches: Parcells, Bill Belichick and John Fox.

Now that Bill Cowher has removed himself from the Jets derby, Spagnuolo is the best fit for the Jets. It's always hard to predict how a first-time head coach will do, but Spagnuolo gives every indication he will be able to make a seamless transition. He's had success in the biggest market in the country.

Although the Jets have decided to no longer consider Mike Shanahan, they are better off with Spagnuolo anyway. Shanahan did win two Super Bowls, but that was a lifetime ago. In the last 10 years, he is 1-4 in the playoffs. The Broncos collapsed worse than the Jets this season. Shanahan is straight from the recycling bin after he was fired Tuesday. Spagnuolo is red-hot. He comes with no guarantees, of course, but then Shanahan hasn't done anything since John Elway retired.

And you can't forget that coaching tree.

Parcells was promoted from Giants defensive coordinator to head coach in 1983 and won two Super Bowls in eight years and then made it to another Super Bowl with New England.

Belichick was Parcells' defensive coordinator on two Super Bowl winners, and then after making the playoffs just once in five years as the Browns' head coach, he is 3-1 in Super Bowls in nine years as the Patriots' coach.

Then there's Fox, the defensive coordinator for the Giants team that went to the Super Bowl in 2000 after shutting out the Vikings in the NFC title game. He became the Panthers head coach and had Carolina in the Super Bowl in his second season, where it lost to Belichick. If Jim Fassel had not saved his job with the Super Bowl run in 2000, the Giants were prepared to fire him and promote Fox.

Is Spagnuolo the next Giants defensive coordinator who will go on and become a star? He has emerged as the favorite to get the Jets' job, but because he is the hottest assistant in the league, the Jets face competition for him from the Broncos, Lions and Browns. The Jets have to sell themselves to him today as much as he has to sell himself to them.


Clearly being the Giants defensive coordinator gives a coach magical powers. It could not have been that all three had what it took on their own. Holding that position gave it to them. Spagnuolo may become a good head coach, but that will have nothing to do with how great Parcells, Belichick, and Fox were. These are three different guys who served in three different environments under three different regimes from what Spagnuolo. Their success has nothing to do with Spagnuolo. He will not succeed or fail because of what they did in the past. There has to be a better reason to hire a head coach.

That reason does not come from Costello, who warns the Jets they better get Spagnuolo but does not actually offer a reason why he is the best candidate.

Don't blow this one, Woody.

When Steve Spagnuolo sits down with the Jets today, team owner Woody Johnson has to give the Giants defensive coordinator the hard sell he gave Brett Favre last summer or the hard sell he's given his fans to buy PSLs.

Johnson has to make Spagnuolo, who is desired as a head coach from Detroit to Denver, believe Gang Green is the best fit and the place to hang his shingle.

The Jets have screwed this up before. From Lou Holtz to Richie Kotite, they have made their share of mistakes. Now, Spagnuolo can arrive as the man to make Jets fans forget Eric Mangini, forget the five-game collapse, forget the tortured past and find hope again.

Dan Leberfield of Jets Confidential offers a reasoned argument amid the hysteria.

The endorsements are flying in for Spagnuolo from sportswriters who wouldn't know Rex Ryan if he was standing next to them.

Woody, if you are smart, you ignore this. Don't worry about appeasing newspapers or sports talk hosts when making this choice.

Because if it doesn't work, they will forget they pushed for the choice and go after you.

Just look at what happened with the Brett Favre trade. Endorsements across the board, and now most of those same people have turned on Favre, and the Jets, for making the move, like pitbulls.

In Saturday's New York Times, there was this troubling report.

"The favorite is Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants’ defensive coordinator, according to two team officials in the Jets’ organization, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the interview process has not been completed," wrote Greg Bishop.

Who are these misguided people in the organization annointing a guy the favorite before he even interviewed for the job?

That is just foolish.

What makes Spagnuolo a better candidate than Ryan? Can someone please explain this to me.

Spagnuolo might be the best guy for the job, but for two people for the organization to say he's the favorite before he even interviews is idiotic.

The reason the local media is so hot for Spagnuolo is that they see him every week and know him. It is impossible to offer a complete assessment of any assistant. Nobody knows how they will handle being the head man. Romeo Crennel was considered a can't miss prospect four years ago by many and had a significantly better resume than Spagnuolo. Nobody had heard of Mike Smith, John Harbaugh, or Tony Sparano a year ago, and all had great success as rookie head coaches.

Personally I would like either Rex Ryan or Jim Schwartz over Spagnuolo. Both have more coordinator experience than Spags and thus more of a body of success. However, fans can do nothing but trust the men with the most information will make the best choice for their team. Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum acted decisively when they identified their head coach as a problem. They are capable of making the right call.