'Spags' breaks out Giants hardware

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Steve Spagnuolo never wore his Giants Super Bowl ring in St. Louis during his first season as Rams coach.

Spagnuolo wore the ring Friday while making the Super Bowl media rounds, a reminder of the success he had before his 1-15 debut season in St. Louis.

"One of these days, when we're just about to try to clinch a playoff berth, I'm going to pull it out and say, 'This is what we're trying to get,' " Spagnuolo said. "Right now, we're kind of building step by step. I felt coming to the Super Bowl, I should wear my Super Bowl ring. I'm lucky to have one."

The Rams will have to resolve quite a few questions for Spagnuolo to wear the ring in St. Louis. He was typically coy in addressing those and other issues Friday:

  • The team doesn't have a specific timeline for making a decision on Marc Bulger's future. Bulger might have bigger priorities in the short term; he's engaged and a wedding could be in his offseason plans.

  • Jason Smith will not necessarily open the 2010 season at left tackle. Smith could stay on the right side. A decision has not been made and Spagnuolo said he does not feel pressure to play Smith on the left side just because the team used the No. 2 overall choice on him.

  • The team could make a few tweaks to its playbooks and beyond after a self-scouting process that is ongoing. "There's tremendous growth after the first year," Spagnuolo said.

  • Spagnuolo has interviewed a few candidates to fill the vacancy created with trainer Jim Anderson's firing. Spagnuolo could interview one more candidate before making a decision. "We want the best guy for our team, our players, to help our players get back on the field quicker, try to prevent injury, etc., but it's all tied into strength training and those things," Spagnuolo said. "I look at it as hiring one of the coordinators. I think that is an important position. Anybody who puts their hands on the players directly I think is really important. We will take it real seriously."

  • Spagnuolo gave his coaching staff relatively high marks under the circumstances. "I am relying on my own experience in saying I thought the coaching staff did a real good job in the situation we were in," he said. "It's very hard to evaluate that type of thing with 1-15 and all the injuries we have."

  • Spagnuolo provided more clarity on the picture issue at Rams Park. "When we first got there, there were a lot of pictures up there that were individual pictures," he said. "The gist of what we do is team first, so we changed it a little bit. We took them all down at the beginning, then put them back up in the hallways, little updated pictures, all team-oriented pictures. Now, up on the second floor, there are still a lot of pictures of Kurt (Warner) and Marshall (Faulk) and all kinds of former Rams. But in the auditorium, the actual room where we meet with the players, we have not put the pictures up yet and we are still contemplating what we are going to do. The mindset was that this was a work area, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for the history and the tradition of the Rams and what they did certainly 10 years ago. It wasn't disrespect to any of that. It was just trying to interject nothing but team. Everything in that building was going to be a vision toward, it wasn't going to be about one person, one guy, just team."

  • Spagnuolo said he would be "more than happy" to speak with former Rams players interested in helping out with coaching.

  • The Rams could have their next wide receivers coach by Wednesday. Spagnuolo has not spoken with Isaac Bruce, who is likely to retire, but remains under contract to the 49ers and off-limits as a result. Spagnuolo spoke with Giants offensive quality control coach Sean Ryan on the phone regarding the job. He has spoke to additional candidates and hopes to speak with at least one more.

Those were the primary notes from our conversation. Spagnuolo is scheduled to fly out of Fort Lauderdale before the game Sunday.