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Giants hire Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator

The Giants looked to their past for help on defense.

New York has hired former Ravens secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo to replace the recently firedPerry Fewell, the team announced Thursday.

Spagnuolo was the Giants' defensive coordinator for two seasons (2007-08) and heavily influenced a defensive line responsible for containing a powerful Patriots team in Super Bowl XLII.

Since then, Spagnuolo has made stops in St. Louis as a head coach, New Orleans as a defensive coordinator and, for the last two seasons, Baltimore as a defensive assistant and secondary coach.

The 55-year-old has close ties with long-time Giants coach Tom Coughlin, which should aid his transition. Though his connections to any current players are minimal, his understanding of Coughlin's style should make for a smooth training camp.

Despite countless injuries to team role players across the board, the team pegged Fewell as a reason for another losing season in 2014. The Giants have been to the playoffs just once in the past six seasons and had a top-10 defense back in 2013.

Needless to say, co-owner John Mara and Coughlin could not go into another season without some change to pacify a fan base that has grown impatient with the current regime (a puzzling outcry since the team has won a pair of Super Bowls in the last decade).

Still, there was never any doubt the job was going to Spagnuolo, who left the organization for a chance to be a head coach back in 2009.

Under Spagnuolo, the Giants had one top-10 defense and, in 2008, a unit that finished 28th during the regular season. In the postseason, though, his defenses came alive with the advent of a NASCAR rush package and three-safety look that is now seen commonly in the NFL.

He faces some new challenges this time around, and there's no doubt he'll be watching closely to see what the team decides to do with stars on expiring contracts like Jason Pierre-Paul and Antrel Rolle.

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