Reid wanted his old friend to join his staff and work with current defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. But Spagnuolo picked the Saints over returning to the Eagles, where he served as an assistant coach from 1999-2006, after defensive coordinator Gregg Williams left for the same position with the Rams.
"When Steve was released from the Rams, I did offer him a spot here to coach, if he needed one, a place to land with open arms," Reid said Tuesday. "And my feeling was that you can have two great coaches on defense and that's even better than just having Juan himself, so that's about as far as it went there. We didn't talk about titles. We didn't go into any of that. He had opportunities to look at other places. He wanted to do that, which I completely understand.
"And he ended up going to New Orleans."
Speaking to reporters for the first time since the season finale on Jan. 1, Reid was more candid than he's ever been during his 13 seasons in Philadelphia. He said he understood owner Jeffrey Lurie's comments about needing to do a better job, and expects more from himself and the team following a disappointing 8-8 season.
"I understand where he's coming from and I'm right there with him on that," Reid said. "He didn't say anything in there that ruffled my feathers or anything else that I don't completely agree with. And listen, I know that's how the fans feel and I understand that. I completely understand that. And it's a frustration, I understand that. My point is that we're going to bust our tail to get it right, that's where I'm at."
Reid also said he planned to retain defensive coordinator Juan Castillo all along. Castillo was heavily criticized in his first season at a new position after coaching the offensive line for 13 years.
Spagnuolo worked under Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson for eight seasons, and was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants when they beat New England in Super Bowl XLII. Spagnuolo joined the Saints two weeks after the Rams fired him. He was 10-38 in three seasons in St. Louis.
Reid said he never considered not returning to coach his 14th season, but wanted to take time to evaluate his performance before speaking to reporters.
"I wanted to make sure I stepped back and looked at it," he said. "I wanted to make sure that I can still do the things that I think are the responsibilities of the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl. So that's what you do.
"You step back and you analyze those things."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press