Chiefs to hire Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator

New York Giants head coach Steve Spagnuolo watches his team play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIBW/AP) -- Two days after firing defensive coordinator Bob Sutton - which itself came just two days after a loss in the AFC Championship game - a the Kansas City Chiefs have already found his replacement.

The Chiefs have tapped former New York Giants defensive coordinator and interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo to head up the defense next season.

“Steve is a bright defensive mind with a lot of coaching experience and success in our league,” Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said.

This wouldn’t be the first time Spagnuolo served on an Andy Reid coaching staff. He worked for the Chiefs head coach for seven seasons while they were in Philadelphia.

“I know him well from our time together in Philadelphia and I feel that his leadership skills and teaching abilities, combined with his scheme, will be a great fit for our team as we move forward,” Reid added.

In 2006, he left the Eagles to take the defensive coordinator role with the Giants, in what would be his first stint with the club. Two years later, he took the head coaching gig with the then-St. Louis Rams. He was fired after winning only 10 games over three seasons. From there, he went to New Orleans and Baltimore before returning to the Giants.

The Chiefs parted ways with Sutton on Tuesday. His defense had received plenty of criticism all season, and it came to a head for not being able to stop the New England Patriots in the final minutes of the AFC Championship Game.

Kansas City struggled all season on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 31st in total defense and 24th in scoring defense. The unit allowed the most first downs in the NFL with 419 and gave up the second-most rushing yards per carry in the league (5.0).

The Chiefs had been missing pieces on defense the entire season due to injuries, and often they were crucial playmakers. Veteran linebacker Justin Houston missed four games with a hamstring injury. Top cornerback Kendall Fuller missed a game with a broken hand. Starting safety Daniel Sorensen missed half the season with a broken leg.