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Steve Spagnuolo back, but Giants lose a coach to the San Francisco 49ers

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Assistant defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina leaving New York

NFL: New York Giants-Minicamp William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will return to the New York Giants, but the team will lose one member of its 2016 coaching staff. Jeff Zgonina, the Giants’ assistant defensive line coach in 2016, will become defensive line coach for Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers.

Spagnuolo was expected to stay after orchestrating a defense that was second in the NFL in points against. ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan was first to report on Wednesday that Spagnuolo, whose contract had expired, will get a new two-year deal from the Giants.

The 2016 season was sweet redemption for Spagnuolo. He is an excellent coach who had experienced a series of failures in recent years that included an unsuccessful stint as head coach of the St. Louis Rams, coordinating a historically bad New Orleans Saints’ defense for a year and then coordinating a league-worst Giants’ defense in 2015.

During his first stint as Giants’ defensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008, Spagnuolo showed that given talent to work with he is a creative, aggresssive coordinator who knows what to do with it. He showed that again in 2016.

Zgonina played 17 seasons in the NFL. He joined Ben McAdoo’s coaching staff last season after three seasons as assistant defensive line coach with the Houston Texans.


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