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Giants Assistant Joins the Parade

SPAGNUOLO
SPAGNUOLO (Bill Kostroun - AP)
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By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo began formally interviewing for the Redskins' head coaching vacancy with team owner Daniel Snyder last night after flying to Washington following a parade in New York honoring the Giants for their Super Bowl win.

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Spagnuolo, who league sources said had a lengthy telephone conversation with Snyder on Monday night, will likely be the final candidate interviewed by Washington before a successor to Joe Gibbs is named.

Spagnuolo, 48, has become an attractive candidate for the position after his defense stifled New England's record-setting offense in the Super Bowl on Sunday, and he is expected to remain in the Washington area through this afternoon.

Snyder scheduled a session with Spagnuolo for last night, with talks to resume at Snyder's Potomac home today. Spagnuolo was to spend the evening in a guest house on the Snyder property, as have several other candidates for the Redskins coaching job.

Snyder has said he would like to end the month-long search for a replacement for Gibbs by the end of the week, with former Giants coach Jim Fassel the other leading candidate for the position. The Redskins also had a second interview with Indianapolis defensive coordinator Ron Meeks last week.

Although former San Francisco and Detroit coach Steve Mariucci met with Redskins officials last week, he is not believed to be a serious contender by the other candidates, according to sources close to them. Mariucci's agent, Gary O'Hagan, yesterday declined to say whether Mariucci was still interested in the job or thought himself to still be a candidate. "I can't comment on that," O'Hagan said.

Fassel was nearly given the job two weeks ago but, with the outlines of a contract in place, Snyder decided to expand the search until after the Super Bowl, when the Redskins would be allowed to contact Spagnuolo.

Fassel, who was almost hired by Snyder to coach the Redskins in 2004 before he landed Gibbs, remains enthusiastic about his chances but understood that a strong performance by the Giants in the Super Bowl would increase the allure of the New York assistant, according to league sources. League sources said the Redskins have remained in touch with Fassel since his last face-to-face meeting with Snyder two weeks ago.

Snyder, speaking yesterday after a ceremony at Redskins Park to honor former Redskins Art Monk and Darrell Green for their election to the Hall of Fame, said Spagnuolo's effort in the Super Bowl did not go unnoticed.

"For the most explosive offense I've seen in years and years to just be slowed down like that is quite impressive," Snyder said. "We stayed for the whole game."

When asked if Spagnuolo's playoff outing served as a strong job interview of sorts, he said: "It would for anybody."

At the time of Gibbs's resignation, Spagnuolo was regarded largely as a first-year defensive coordinator, in his first season with the Giants, whose team was not given much of a chance at winning a title. Since then his stock has risen dramatically in the Redskins' eyes.


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