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Steve Spagnuolo burns for head coaching opportunity

  • By Brian McIntyre NFL.com
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Fired by the St. Louis Rams after going 10-38 games in three seasons as head coach, Steve Spagnuolo quickly found work as the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator.

As eager as he is to get rolling with his new team, Spagnuolo is just as eager for another shot at a head coaching job, Greg Bedard reported Sunday in his fantastic "Football Notes" column for The Boston Globe.

"Yeah, there's a burn there, I'm not going to lie to you," the 52-year-old Spagnuolo said. "I think the professional thing to do in this situation is you concentrate all your efforts and all your focus on the job that you have right now.

"I feel lucky I have this job. In this business, you fight every day to keep the job that you have. Now, should the good Lord put another opportunity in front of me to be a head coach, I'm jumping at it, I'm going to run with it. I know that I'll be better having gone through it."

Bedard cites Football Outsiders' "Adjusted Games Lost," a statistic in which the Rams ranked 32nd in the 2011 and were the second-most injured team since 2002. The Rams had the most injured offense and sixth-most injured defense in the NFL a season ago, which contributed to their backslide to a two-win team after winning seven games, and nearly the NFC West, in 2010.

That Spagnuolo was so heavily pursued following his dismissal by the Rams -- the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles all were interested in him -- shows how well-respected he is in league circles. If the Saints' defense plays up to its talent level, even without the suspended Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith for all or part of the season, Spagnuolo will likely be a top candidate for head-coaching vacancies next offseason.

He'll be ready this time.

"I think I'm a better football coach," Spagnuolo said. "I know if given the opportunity again, which I hope happens, I will be a 10-times-better head coach, because sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do from your success."

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