Spags Staying Put

Good news, Giants fans: Your star defensive coordinator isn't going anywhere.

Not only has Steve Spagnuolo turned down the Redskins, but he's signed a three-year extension worth $6 million to remain at the helm of New York's Super Bowl-winning defense. Spagnuolo spent more than a day meeting with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, but opted that New York was the place for him.

"I appreciated Mr. Snyder giving me the opportunity to visit with him," Spagnuolo said. "I have a great deal of respect for him and the Washington Redskins organization. I was happy to have the opportunity to explore that situation, but I am equally happy to be staying in New York and look forward to continued success with the Giants."

The 2007 season was Spagnuolo's first as the Giants' defensive coordinator. Under his direction, the defense improved from 25th to seventh in the NFL rankings, allowing 305.0 yards per game compared to 342.4 the previous season. The Giants rose from 29th to 11th in pass defense (going from 228.1 yards allowed a game to 207.3) and from 14th to eighth in run defense (114.4 to 97.7).

Spagnuolo and the Giants defense did their best work in the playoffs, particularly in last Sunday's 17-14 victory over New England in Super Bowl XLII. The Patriots' 14 points was their lowest output in 25 games (since Dec. 10, 2006). New England had averaged almost 37 points a game in the regular season. The Patriots averaged 411.3 yards a game, but totaled only 274 in the Super Bowl. They rushed for only 45 yards and did not have a run longer than nine yards. Tom Brady, sacked just 21 times all year, was tackled for losses five times in the Super Bowl and was hit another 18 times by the relentless Giants defense.

"I thought Steve and our defensive staff and players did an outstanding job this season," Coach Tom Coughlin said. "It was the first season for that group to work together, and they challenged themselves to get better every week, and they did. Steve is a hard worker who has quickly earned the respect of the players and coaches, and he has earned the consideration he is being given. Needless to say, I am happy that he will be remaining here."

"A year ago, Tom hired Steve because people that Tom trusts told him that Steve is a no-nonsense, hard-working, energetic young coach," team President and Chief Executive Officer John Mara said. "And Tom liked the fact that Spags had earned his stripes every step of the way in his coaching career. Steve demonstrated all of that and more this season, and we have made the appropriate adjustments in our commitment to Steve in recognition of what he and the defensive coaches and players achieved this season."

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