The greatest players and the greatest coaches in NFL history eventually find their way to Canton, Ohio. There, the cement a lasting legacy for themselves at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Kansas City Chiefs have several of these men currently on their team, including head coach Andy Reid. But should he be the only coach currently on the staff that ends up with a bronze statue of his likeness? A case could be made that Steve Spagnuolo should find himself there, too.
There's one problem for Spagnuolo: no assistant coaches have ever been inducted into the Hall of Fame on that particular merit alone. That doesn't mean there haven't been several worthy of the honor. Spags is just the latest coach who excels as a coordinator but struggled when he had his chance as a head coach.
And that's fine. People should be recognized at being the best at their position, even if it isn't the highest possible position in their industry. And to say that Spags is the best at his position, as a coordinator, isn't an understatement. Check out this stat below.
I'm not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average), but what I do know is that the higher the DVOA, the better that team typically is. As Schatz says, if the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, they'll have had the most difficult path ever. The only way you do that? By having a really good defense.
Here's what else sticks out to me about that list: the second-place team is the 2007 New York Giants. So what? Well, that was a Giants team that started the playoffs as a wild card and went on to win the Super Bowl. It wasn't just any win either, it was a win against the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.
Who was leading the defensive unit that stopped one of the greatest offenses of all time? You guessed it: Steve friggin' Spagnuolo. That means Spags has three Super Bowl wins and could be just two weeks away from his fourth, which, again, would mean defeating four of the toughest opponents—ever.
I think it makes Spags at least worthy of consideration for the Hall of Fame, even if it is unlikely. But it's hard to deny that he's authored some of the greatest defenses in NFL history with striking success. Even former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver (and future Hall of Famer himself) Tyreek Hill thinks Spags is one of the best to ever do it.
All it takes is one person to set a standard. If Spags can continue to keep this defense playing this good for several more years then I think the Hall of Fame voters will be forced to considered him as the first of many assistant coaches to finally be honored.