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Steve Spagnuolo: Return to New Orleans "just another game"

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What does Spags think about going back to New Orleans, getting JPP back, and that status of Damontre Moore? The reporters asked in his weekly press conference.

Steve Spagnuolo
Steve Spagnuolo
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more interesting storylines regarding the New York Giants' week 8 trip to play the New Orleans Saints is the return of Steve Spagnuolo to the sideline of the Superdome.

After being fired as the head coach of the St. Louis Rams, Spags was hired to replace Gregg Williams who had been suspended indefinitely in the wake of 'Bountygate'.

Spags inherited a defense was missing key players and a team without its head coach. With all the turmoil surrounding the team it isn't surprising that their defense turned in a historically bad season. But when Spags was fired after just a year calling the defense the Saints' players had nothing but vitriol for him, a sentiment shared by many Saints' fans.

But what does Spags himself think about returning after brief tenure in New Orleans?

"I went back last year when I was with Baltimore, we went down there. There are good people that I've met down there, friends. But other than that, it's another game," Spagnuolo said.

"I've said this before, and it's quite evident now, you learn more in adversity than you do sometimes when it goes real well. There are things I pulled away from that I think have been helpful and hopefully will be helpful.

"It was adverse. Yeah, well, it's in the rear view mirror."

But what about Drew Brees and his injured shoulder? And might Spags have any insight into Brees and the Saints' offense from his time there?

"I've got a great deal of respect for Drew. I enjoyed my time with him. We had many a conversation when I was down there. Not only is he a great character guy, but he's a really smart football player. He would see things and it's always good to see the other side of it. I enjoyed that," Spagnuolo said. "I don't really see a tremendous drop off. With the system that they run and how quick he gets it out, he's so effective that way. It's going to make it a challenge."

Pierre-Paul Returns

Spags' return to New Orleans was far from the only story line in Giants land this week. The first question was, of course, what had Spags seen from Jason Pierre-Paul.

"It's hard to tell anything right now. We're just obviously all really happy he's back in the fold here. I don't know him as well as everybody else here, all the other coaches. I've admired him from afar, obviously, and know he's a really good football player. But look, it's up to the medical team, Coach Coughlin, Jerry, to make all the decisions on that, I'm just glad he's back," Spagnuolo said.

With the return of JPP to the locker room, and eventually to the field, there starts to be a flicker of hope that some life can breathed into the Giants' anemic pass rush. Having Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers might just do that.

"Both those guys obviously can do that very well. We're just glad we got Robert back, it's been a while. To come back off of three or four weeks, whatever it was, and go back out there, you've got to knock the rust off. DK, Devon Kennard, had to knock the rust off a little bit, too. So hopefully Robert is one more week advanced there, and I'm sure JPP is going to go through the same thing," Spagnuolo said.

Damonster for Halloween?

Reporters also asked about Damontre Moore who's undisciplined play landed him on the bench against the Cowboys, potentially with disastrous results when it appeared as though both Ayers and Owa Odighizuwa would both be sidelined by injury. Can Spags find playing time for his best pass rusher?

"You've got a number of guys over there, so we'll have to figure that out. But it's not a bad problem to have," Spagnuolo said. "It's not a bad problem to have guys that you think can go in there and play. I don't know if you can ever have too many. You just find a way to even it out. The one thing about that, it creates great competition.

"From an emotional standpoint? He's been great. There's ups and downs in the league, especially early in your tenure as a player. It wasn't easy for him to be deactivated last week, but he fought through it and he came out here and he's practiced pretty well."