Will Steve Spagnuolo be considered a head coaching candidate in the NFL again?

The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and it's largely thanks to one man: Steve Spagnoulo. Could he be generating some interest for head coaching positions next year?
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

It's hard to sustain success in the NFL. Super Bowl windows are notoriously small for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that other teams want to try and copy that success. The main way lesser teams do that is by hiring away a winning franchise's offensive and defensive coordinators to be their own head coaches.

Teams did this for years with the New England Patriots, and predictably, it failed most of the time. The most recent example happened just a few weeks ago with the Las Vegas Raiders firing head coach Josh McDaniels less than two years into his tenure.

But for every coaching tree that fails, there are also success stories, like Kyle Shanahan who has produced a handful of moderately successful coaches in Robert Saleh, Mike McDaniel, and DeMeco Ryans.

Because of these checkerboard results, teams still continue to hire coordinators from successful teams with one notable exception: the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite five straight AFC title games, three Super Bowls, and two Super Bowl titles, the Chiefs have had exactly 0 coordinators poached in that run.

Of course, the name that generated the most buzz in that time was former offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy. After years of teams refusing to hire him as their head coach, he took a lateral move to Washington.

That means the last true coordinator change was when Andy Reid decided to fire defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and hire Steve Spagnuolo. That's a move that paid dividends. Spagnuolo's defenses have only gotten better in the five years since he arrived, and this year's unit might be his crown jewel.

Which begs the question: will teams come knocking for Spags as a head coach? Believe it or not, they've already tried once before. Some might not remember, but Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator that knocked off the New England Patriot's perfect season in 2007. This was part of a successful run that saw the Giants have a very good defense.

After the 2008 season, Spags was hired by the St. Louis Rams. Needless to say, things didn't go well. In his three years at the helm, he won a combined 10 games and 7 of those came in one campaign. That's right, he went 1-15 his first year, and 2-14 his third year. He was unsurprisingly fired and has consistently held coordinator jobs ever since. (Ironically, that story from Bleacher Report predicted that it likely wouldn't be Spagnuolo's last head coaching job.)

This puts teams in a predicament. It's hard to deny that Spagnuolo can craft some great defenses. But it's also hard to deny that his one stint as a head coach was pretty terrible. This makes it highly unlikely that a team is going to want to try and poach him from the Chiefs.

All of this adds up to some pretty remarkable luck for Kansas City. I do think part of the planning when poaching coordinators is to make the good teams less good. But when nobody wants to take the Chiefs coordinators even though they've demonstrated so much success, it just means that the Chiefs will continue to rule the NFL.

What a bummer for Chiefs Kingdom.