NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora has reported that the Saints have schedule an interview with former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo tomorrow as they attempt to replace recently departed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Williams was in the final year of his contract with New Orleans, and he may not have been back with the team at all considering the Saints defense collapsed in the playoffs the last two seasons, but when his good friend Jeff Fisher recently took over the Rams the writing was on the wall.
Spagnuolo was fired by the Rams after a disastrous 2-14 campaign in 2011. He took over in St. Louis three years ago, drafted quarterback Sam Bradford, but still was only able to manage a combined 10-38 record over those three seasons.
Before going to St. Louis Spagnuolo spent 2007-2008 as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, helping them win the Super Bowl in 2007 after shutting down Tom Brady and the Patriots — the “highest” scoring offense in the NFL at the time.
Under Spagnuolo the Giants were the number one team in the NFL in total sacks in 2008 with 53 quarterback take downs. In 2007 the Giants were nearly as good, ranking as the sixth best defense after notching 42 sacks.
The Saints desperately need to improve their pass rush. In 2011 Gregg Williams utilized the blitz more than 60% of the time — tops in the NFL — but the defense managed only 33 total sacks to rank 19th in the league.