Spagnulo wants Landon Collins in the Pro Bowl

The new defensive coordinator is already impressed by second-round draft pick Landon Collins.

When Steve Spagnuolo first came to the Giants in 2007, the success he had was almost unthinkable. In his first campaign as defensive coordinator, he helped the Giants to a Super Bowl championship by shutting down a Patriots offense that still is considered one of the top units in history.

2008 didn’t bring the same postseason success, but Spagnuolo was still an important part of a coaching staff that led the Giants to the top regular season record in the NFC. Those two seasons led to a head coaching job in St. Louis that didn’t go nearly as well as Spagnuolo’s New York career.

This year, after short assistant coaching stints with the Saints and Ravens, Spagnuolo is back in the defensive coordinator chair with the Giants. Can he possibly repeat the success he first had with the team back in 2007?

That is yet to be seen, but one thing is for certain. It wasn’t a tough decision for Spagnuolo to return to Big Blue.

“There’s a lot of reason to come back here,” said Spagnuolo. “There’s a lot of reasons for anybody to come here; the tradition of Giants football, the ownership, the Maras, the Tisches, Coach Coughlin, Jerry Reese… You do the checklist, if I did one at all, which I’m not saying I did. It would be fully loaded on one side.”

2015 won’t be the same as 2007, though. The talent on this Giants team is completely different. There’s no Michael Strahan, no Justin Tuck, and no Osi Umenyiora to terrorize quarterbacks. Jason Pierre-Paul headlines a pass rush unit that isn’t as proven as the “NASCAR” groups of New York’s past.

Even with the heavy personnel turnover, though, Spagnuolo still feels at home with the Giants.

“When I ran out there the first day, I was looking for the bubble,” said Spagnuolo. “I didn’t see a bubble. I just saw a nice indoor facility. What was really nice is when you can step into a building and you know people and they know you. That was really, really comfortable. That doesn’t always happen that way.”

One player who Spagnuolo is getting to know better is second-round draft pick Landon Collins. The safety out of Alabama is someone who has the talent to shape the future of New York’s defense after the team traded up to acquire him with the 33rd overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft.

“I want him to go to the Pro Bowl,” said Spagnuolo. “That’s what we want all of our guys to do. I will say this, from practice one yesterday to just this morning, I saw a jump already. They come here initially and they’re feeling their way through. They don’t really want to say anything, but by the time we got to that last team period today, Landon was moving people around and directing, so if he can keep doing that every day, I think we’ll have exactly what we thought we had when we took him.”

If Collins does indeed turn into a Pro Bowl player, then Spagnuolo’s second term with the Giants has a chance of being just as fun as the first.


The Giants Beat Top Stories

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When Steve Spagnuolo first came to the Giants in 2007, the success he had was almost unthinkable. In his first campaign as defensive coordinator, he helped the Giants to a Super Bowl championship by shutting down a Patriots offense that still is considered one of the top units in history.

2008 didn’t bring the same postseason success, but Spagnuolo was still an important part of a coaching staff that led the Giants to the top regular season record in the NFC. Those two seasons led to a head coaching job in St. Louis that didn’t go nearly as well as Spagnuolo’s New York career.

This year, after short assistant coaching stints with the Saints and Ravens, Spagnuolo is back in the defensive coordinator chair with the Giants. Can he possibly repeat the success he first had with the team back in 2007?

That is yet to be seen, but one thing is for certain. It wasn’t a tough decision for Spagnuolo to return to Big Blue.

“There’s a lot of reason to come back here,” said Spagnuolo. “There’s a lot of reasons for anybody to come here; the tradition of Giants football, the ownership, the Maras, the Tisches, Coach Coughlin, Jerry Reese… You do the checklist, if I did one at all, which I’m not saying I did. It would be fully loaded on one side.”

2015 won’t be the same as 2007, though. The talent on this Giants team is completely different. There’s no Michael Strahan, no Justin Tuck, and no Osi Umenyiora to terrorize quarterbacks. Jason Pierre-Paul headlines a pass rush unit that isn’t as proven as the “NASCAR” groups of New York’s past.

Even with the heavy personnel turnover, though, Spagnuolo still feels at home with the Giants.

“When I ran out there the first day, I was looking for the bubble,” said Spagnuolo. “I didn’t see a bubble. I just saw a nice indoor facility. What was really nice is when you can step into a building and you know people and they know you. That was really, really comfortable. That doesn’t always happen that way.”

One player who Spagnuolo is getting to know better is second-round draft pick Landon Collins. The safety out of Alabama is someone who has the talent to shape the future of New York’s defense after the team traded up to acquire him with the 33rd overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft.

“I want him to go to the Pro Bowl,” said Spagnuolo. “That’s what we want all of our guys to do. I will say this, from practice one yesterday to just this morning, I saw a jump already. They come here initially and they’re feeling their way through. They don’t really want to say anything, but by the time we got to that last team period today, Landon was moving people around and directing, so if he can keep doing that every day, I think we’ll have exactly what we thought we had when we took him.”

If Collins does indeed turn into a Pro Bowl player, then Spagnuolo’s second term with the Giants has a chance of being just as fun as the first.

See what Giants fans are saying here

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