Spagnuolo knows Bears coaches well

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It's amazing how often paths cross in the NFL. A perfect example is St. Louis head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who has multiple ties to current and former Bears coaches and players.

Upon being named Rams coach last January, Spagnuolo decided to cut Orlando Pace and Pisa Tinoisamoa, who both eventually landed with the Bears -- not a bad decision by St. Louis in retrospect.

"We came in and assessed everything," Spagnuolo said during a conference call with Chicago media members. "A lot goes into those kind of decisions. I have a great deal of respect for both those players, and I was fortune enough to work a little bit with Pisa, who I have a great amount of respect for. You just come in, make your decisions, and hope you are right. We've moved forward, and I know they have, too. I wish those two guys a lot of luck."

Before rising to prominence as the Giants defensive coordinator in 2007-08, Spagnuolo spent eight seasons in Philadelphia, where he worked alongside former Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

"I think he's terrific," Spagnuolo said. "He's a terrific football coach, and his time will come (to be an NFL head coach). In this league, it's a timing thing. It'll happen for Ron, too."

Spagnuolo also has strong relationships with several current assistants, attending Springfield (Mass.) College with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, director of physical development Rusty Jones and special teams coordinator Dave Toub. Strangely, there is no mention of Springfield College in Toub's bio in the Bears media guide.

"He claims UTEP, but I was with him for two years there (Springfield)," Spagnuolo joked.

Of course, Spagnuolo also worked with Toub in Philadelphia, as well as Bears fullback Jason McKie.

It was fun to hear Spagnuolo go down memory lane. It certainly beats talking about the 1-10 Rams.