Steve Spagnuolo fully expects the New York Giants to “bounce back and be fine.” The former Giants defensive coordinator — and, briefly, the interim head coach after Ben McAdoo was relieved of his duties in December — spoke to the New York Post’s Steve Serby on Thursday while visiting the New York Jets’ training camp about his thoughts on the Giants’ upcoming season. And Spagnuolo had nothing but positive things to say.
He noted that, “Eli’s [Manning] got some weapons,” and that, this year, “He can hand the ball off to somebody that’s a quality running back.”
That somebody, of course, is second-overall draft pick Saquon Barkley, who also impressed Spagnuolo during the pre-draft process. “I was down in Orlando, Florida, watching some D-linemen, a friend of mine was working guys out for the draft,” explained Spagnuolo. He continued:
“[T]his young gentleman walked up to me, good-looking, stud-looking kid, and he was just asking questions about the NFL. I didn’t know who I was talking to. But in my mind, I’m going, ‘Boy, this is a great kid, this guy really gets it, he’s passionate about what he’s doing.’ And then somebody walked over and said, ‘Hey Saquon.’ I realized then I was talking to Saquon Barkley.”
Spagnuolo also vouched for the talents of Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, whom Spagnuolo tapped to be his offensive coordinator when he was head coach of the then-St. Louis Rams in 2009, calling Shurmur “a good teacher” and “a good man.”
And while Spagnuolo was at the Jets’ camp this week, and appears content with taking a year off from NFL work, his loyalty to the Giants remains strong: “I would tell the Giants fans that I’m always gonna have a little bit of blue in my blood — that’s never gonna change.”