WASHINGTON (AP) -Twenty-four hours after his defense stymied the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, New York Giants assistant Steve Spagnuolo had to steady himself amid euphoria and begin his interview process with the Washington Redskins.
Spagnuolo and team owner Dan Snyder spoke by phone for 90 minutes Monday night about the Redskins coaching vacancy. Then, after another euphoric moment - Tuesday's ticker-tape parade for the Giants through Manhattan in which players and coaches received keys to the city - Spagnuolo was to be picked up by one of Snyder's planes and flown to Washington so the two could talk face-to-face at Snyder's house.
Spagnuolo was to spend the night at a guesthouse on Snyder's property - the same treatment given several other contenders for the job - before resuming the interview Wednesday morning.
preferred to keep details of the process private.
Spagnuolo, Ron Meeks and Jim Fassel are the three remaining possible replacements for Joe Gibbs, who resigned Jan. 8. Snyder plans to huddle with his brain trust late Wednesday with the hope of making a selection. He would then have to negotiate a contract with his choice before making an announcement, which could come Thursday or Friday.
Spagnuolo couldn't be any hotter at the moment. His defense sacked Tom Brady five times and held the Patriots - who hadn't scored fewer than 20 points in a game all season - to 14 points in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.
This was the 48-year-old coach's first season as a defensive coordinator, and it couldn't have started off any worse - 80 points allowed in the first two games - but New York's late season surge put him on Snyder's list of candidates, with the owner not realizing at the time that he would have to wait several weeks for an interview because of the Giants' unexpected Super Bowl run.
Spagnuolo has a history with the Redskins, albeit brief, having been a front office intern in 1983. He also spent two seasons as an assistant coach in NFL Europe and was with the Philadelphia Eagles for eight seasons - the last three as linebackers coach - before joining the Giants last year.
Meeks and Spagnuolo are similar candidates. Neither has been a head coach, and Meeks, 53, was in Spagnuolo's position a year ago, having won a Super Bowl as the defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts. Meeks was also the secondary coach when the St. Louis Rams won the NFL title in 2001. Like Spagnuolo, he has spent a season with the Redskins, coaching the defensive backs in 2000.
Meeks and former New York Giants coach Fassel have each met with Snyder multiple times about the job. Both have had to wait out the process while Snyder bided his time for a chance to talk to Spagnuolo.
Snyder has met with several other candidates, all of whom are no longer under consideration for various reasons. Those candidates included Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Seattle Seahawks defensive backs coach Jim Mora, Redskins assistant Gregg Williams, former San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions coach Steve Mariucci and Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll.
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