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Report: Spagnuolo to ‘Return’ by End of Week

Jan 10, 2012, 1:08 PM EDT

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network is reporting that Steve Spagnuolo is expected to "return to Philadelphia" at the end of this week.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network is reporting that Steve Spagnuolo is expected to “be back in Philadelphia” by the end of the week.

Early reports from the local writers interpret LaCanfora’s report to mean that Spags will not just be rejoining the staff, but potentially replacing Juan Castillo. These reports exist in spite of the fact that LaCanfora never explicitly states that a deal has been reached nor that Castillo is even going anywhere.

The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, for example, offers the following:

“LaCanfora, citing NFL sources, wrote that Spagnuolo will replace embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, perhaps not in name, but as the leader of the Eagles defense.”

McLane goes on in his to report to state both Spagnuolo and Eagles
head coach Andy Reid are on vacation(s) with their families, and no
official announcement will be made until either one or both are
available, presumably at the end of this week.

We find this somewhat perplexing because the news of Spagnuolo’s imminent return is not actually how LaCanfora’s report reads:

» Spagnuolo, let go by the St. Louis Rams last week, is expected to be back in Philadelphia by the end of the week. The Eagles released a secondary coach over the weekend, so they have flexibility to move around the staff and bring Spagnuolo back as an assistant head coach, if not defensive coordinator. If Andy Reid wants to retain embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo in some other capacity, that’s a possibility as well, according to league sources. Spagnuolo is a disciple of former Eagles defensive guru Jim Johnson, and was much-liked during his eight-year stint on Andy Reid’s staff. Spagnuolo wanted to take time off last week, according to a league source, but expect his phone to start ringing quickly.

CSN’s Reuben Frank is tweeting that LaCanfora is now stating himself that “he wasn’t reporting that Spags is about to be hired by Eagles, just that he ‘could be visiting Philly.’”

Frank also suggests that even if Spagnuolo is named the new defensive coordinator that Castillo will not be fired, but rather reassigned within the defense, possibly to fill the new vacancy at cornerbacks coach left after the dismissal of Johnnie Lynn earlier this week.

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In an update, Reuben Frank has printed a retraction of his first report and is now writing that Spagnuolo will be meeting with the Eagles front office later this week.