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Falcons are not Cluesless- Garret is on his way like I SAID JUST BE PATIENT


swiftkick
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BY MIKE GARAFOLO

Star-Ledger Staff

At this point last year, Steve Spagnuolo was a linebackers coach, discouraged by his lack of opportunities to be a defensive coordinator. By this point next week, he might be interviewing for a head-coaching job.

Spagnuolo, whom the Giants hired as their defensive coordinator late last January, is a candidate to become the next head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. According to two people with knowledge of the Falcons' interest in Spagnuolo, Atlanta asked the Giants for permission to interview the 48-year-old assistant. But the people, who requested anonymity because of the private nature of the coaching search, said the Giants declined -- for now.

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According to one of the people, the team didn't want their top defensive coach to worry about anything except figuring out how to slow down the Cowboys in Sunday's playoff game. In their first two meetings with Dallas this season, the Giants' defense has allowed 76 points.

Someone else who spoke with Spagnuolo said Spagnuolo wasn't upset with the Giants' position on the matter, and it's likely he'll get a chance to interview anyway. The Giants' players and coaches were not available yesterday; Spagnuolo could not be reached for comment.

NFL rules allow playoff teams to deny permission for their assistants to be interviewed, but that denial then applies to all teams. From when an assistant's postseason ends until March 1, teams cannot prevent their assistants from interviewing for a better job with other organizations.

Assistant coaches on playoff teams used to not be able to interview until after their teams had been eliminated, but the NFL changed that policy. Starting this season, coaches on teams with bye weeks could interview last week, and those that coached on wild-card weekend could interview this week.

Spagnuolo and Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett are atop the team's list for a new coach, according to someone who spoke to Falcons owner Arthur Blank this week. Garrett has already interviewed with Blank, as has Dallas offensive line coach Tony Sparano and Indianapolis assistant head coach Jim Caldwell.

Since the Cowboys and Giants are playing each other this weekend, either Spagnuolo or Garrett will be working next week to plan for the NFC Championship Game. That means Atlanta's coaching search could be postponed another week, especially if the Giants win and Spagnuolo remains unavailable for an interview.

Another factor is the Falcons' search for a general manager. Eagles GM Tom Heckert, whose relationship with Spagnuolo dates to Heckert being hired as Eagles director of player personnel in 1999, is considered one of the favorites for the job. Giants vice president of player evaluation Chris Mara, who has watched Spagnuolo turn the Giants defense around this season, is also in the mix. He interviewed with the Falcons yesterday.

Either Heckert or Mara could make a push for Spagnuolo, who is quickly becoming a hot name in the ranks of assistant coaches because of his ability to take a defense that gave up 80 points in the first two games of the season and turn it into a unit that finished the season ranked seventh in the league with 305 yards allowed per game.

Spagnuolo did it partly by lining up four pass-rushing ends in obvious passing situations, which led to a league-high 53 sacks. But he has also established a much better relationship with his players than former coordinator Tim Lewis, who was fired after last season. Spagnuolo likes to take the blame for what goes wrong while crediting the players for the things that go right.

Spagnuolo's player-friendly approach is part of the reason players like cornerback Corey Webster and linebacker Reggie Torbor are playing much better than they did under Lewis.

Notes: Bills offensive line coach Jim McNally, who spent five seasons with the Giants from 1999-203, retired yesterday, ending a 28-year NFL career. McNally, 64, spent the past four years with the Bills, ending his career in his hometown. He's best known for the 15 seasons -- from 1980-94 -- he spent with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he coached Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz and Pro Bowler Max Montoya, and made two Super Bowl appearances.

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Twinblade (1/10/2008)
lmao how is hiring a guy that only been a coach for 3 years gonna do better then any other candidates? Wow...are we now trying to lose?

Garret is supposedly an offensive genius like Mike Martz. He has a ton of talent in Dallas what would he have in ATL?

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thenfl (1/10/2008)
Twinblade (1/10/2008)
lmao how is hiring a guy that only been a coach for 3 years gonna do better then any other candidates? Wow...are we now trying to lose?

Garret is supposedly an offensive genius like Mike Martz. He has a ton of talent in Dallas what would he have in ATL?

Thats according to who we draft :D

White + Norwood + Mcfadden(1st rnd pick) + Crumpler would be a nice start for the skilled positions we would need to keep building the o-line and grab a QB in the 2nd to 3rd but we have some nice pieces to work with. Although i still like Spags better as i think our defense is close to being really good already.

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thenfl (1/10/2008)
Twinblade (1/10/2008)
lmao how is hiring a guy that only been a coach for 3 years gonna do better then any other candidates? Wow...are we now trying to lose?

Garret is supposedly an offensive genius like Mike Martz. He has a ton of talent in Dallas what would he have in ATL?

I don't get it man. Yu can say that for any body we talk to ? How are you going to change that fact ? Wait till we have FAcy and the DRaft ?? Negative I reckon!

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thenfl (1/10/2008)
Twinblade (1/10/2008)
lmao how is hiring a guy that only been a coach for 3 years gonna do better then any other candidates? Wow...are we now trying to lose?

Garret is supposedly an offensive genius like Mike Martz. He has a ton of talent in Dallas what would he have in ATL?

Jason Garrett is no offensive genius, Wow he is a OC for Dallas, Heck I can be dallas OC and they will still be that good.

I rather have a college coach instead of a coach that only been a coach for 3/4 friggin years.

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I am curious, because I know that Garrett runs 34 in Dallas, but he is an offensive guy, so I wonder if he would just hire a DC that knows the 43 best and just kept our defense the way it is. that would save some time rebuilding, and we could add pieces this offseason and make our D possibly top-10...and I think that the better D we have the faster the "rebuilding" will go.

Spagnulo runs 43 is NY already so I don't worry so much about him.

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Twinblade (1/10/2008)
Jason Garrett is no offensive genius, Wow he is a OC for Dallas, Heck I can be dallas OC and they will still be that good.

I rather have a college coach instead of a coach that only been a coach for 3/4 friggin years.

You just love hating everything that happens, don't you?

Bring back pure football, please mod.

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thenfl (1/10/2008)
Twinblade (1/10/2008)
lmao how is hiring a guy that only been a coach for 3 years gonna do better then any other candidates? Wow...are we now trying to lose?

Garret is supposedly an offensive genius like Mike Martz. He has a ton of talent in Dallas what would he have in ATL?

Tony Sparano is the offensive genius on that team, not Garret. Thats why Parcells chose him over Garett. We get left with the table scraps.

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Joshua Affonso (1/10/2008)
Twinblade (1/10/2008)
Jason Garrett is no offensive genius, Wow he is a OC for Dallas, Heck I can be dallas OC and they will still be that good.

I rather have a college coach instead of a coach that only been a coach for 3/4 friggin years.

You just love hating everything that happens, don't you?

Bring back pure football, please mod.

I want the best for this team, not make it worst, by going after worthless candidates or players.

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swiftkick (1/10/2008)
BY MIKE GARAFOLO

Star-Ledger Staff

At this point last year, Steve Spagnuolo was a linebackers coach, discouraged by his lack of opportunities to be a defensive coordinator. By this point next week, he might be interviewing for a head-coaching job.

Spagnuolo and Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett are atop the team's list for a new coach, according to someone who spoke to Falcons owner Arthur Blank this week. Garrett has already interviewed with Blank, as has Dallas offensive line coach Tony Sparano and Indianapolis assistant head coach Jim Caldwell.

Thanks for posting this Swifty, good read!

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loozianafalcon (1/10/2008)
Twinblade (1/10/2008)
lmao how is hiring a guy that only been a coach for 3 years gonna do better then any other candidates? Wow...are we now trying to lose?

I agree! What has Garrett done that is so awe-inspiring? He's got 3 total years of NFL coaching experience.

and not to mention he did have an offense that has t.o., romo, witten, and barber, all of whom were there and doing fine before he got there. im not for this guy but i wouldnt hang myself if we got him. he better produce in the long run though.

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bgarcia28 (1/10/2008)
Birdmahn (1/10/2008)
Just say no to Garret. It's Spagnuolo we want. HE is the next coach for whom we patiently wait.

;)

Unfortunately, the Giants look like they can beat Dallas.

Oh well, I can wait another week for the RIGHT coach, which we hope to be the leader of the Falcons for years to come. However, Blank could AT LEAST go ahead and hire a GM!

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bossFALCON (1/10/2008)
squirreldawg (1/10/2008)
Who was the QB coach that helped Romo become a star????

it wasnt garrett. this is his first season in dallas and he spent his other ones as the qb coach for the fins.

Correct...It was Sean Payton if my memory serves me right. As of right now....I don't know who will be (or is the best) coaching candidate. All this searching for a coach w/out a GM in place is a bit concerning.

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squirreldawg (1/10/2008)
bossFALCON (1/10/2008)
squirreldawg (1/10/2008)
Who was the QB coach that helped Romo become a star????

it wasnt garrett. this is his first season in dallas and he spent his other ones as the qb coach for the fins.

Correct...It was Sean Payton if my memory serves me right. As of right now....I don't know who will be (or is the best) coaching candidate. All this searching for a coach w/out a GM in place is a bit concerning.

im hoping that we are just checking out what is on the market and when we get the gm he can call people in for a 2nd interview and stuff. if we get a coach before a gm i agree that it would be concerning.

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