Steve Spagnuolo has added another Super Bowl ring to his gauntlet twelve years after earning one with the New York Giants.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said that Super Bowl 54 “wasn’t pretty, but it was gritty, and it was gritty at the end,” according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.
That’s a summary Spagnuolo could spin across many of the major victories earned throughout his career.
Spagnuolo has received his second Super Bowl ring after the Chiefs earned a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in Miami. It comes twelve years after he helped the New York Giants win Super Bowl 42 over the then-unbeaten New England Patriots in the same role.
This new championship comes in Spagnuolo’s return to the NFL. He took a year off from coaching after a second tenure as the Giants defensive boss. Spagnuolo also served as the team’s interim head coach in 2017.
Under the watch of Spagnuolo, Kansas City leaped from 31st to 17th in total defense during the regular season.
Per Schwartz, Spagnuolo credited his faith for the big win. He also wasn’t willing to compare Super Bowl victories, expressing only a desire to live in the moment.
“I want to thank God for (bringing) me to Kansas City and (head coach Andy Reid) having the faith in me,” Spagnuolo said. “You say, ‘Is this one better than the other one? It’s the one you’re in the middle of that you enjoy, so I’m really grateful.”
Kansas City’s defense played a major role in the erasure of a 20-10 fourth-quarter deficit. San Francisco, in cruel irony, gained only 49 yards across their final four drives. This gave a potent offense headlined by the antics of MVP Patrick Mahomes and Damien Williams the opportunity to take the lead.
The defense then sealed the deal by earning a turnover on downs and a Kendall Fuller interception. Bashaud Breeland also had a first-half pick that led to a Harrison Butker field goal.
San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo converted 18 of his first 21 pass attempts. Nonetheless, he ended the game on a 2-for-10 note. He praised the Chiefs defense for their efforts in a somber postgame presser.
“Good team. Good defense. You’ve gotta give them some credit,” Garoppolo said, per Christopher Mason of Mass Live. “We didn’t make some of the plays that we normally make, so it’s a tough one.”
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490