Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/9/14

ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome on September 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Redskins 30-16. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints have fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after one season — a record-setting year in the wrong way. New Orleans ranked last in the NFL in total defense and run defense, yielding the most yards (7,042) ever in a single season. The Saints went 7-9 this season and allowed 454 points — only the Tennessee Titans gave up more. Head coach Sean Payton, who returned to work this week after a season-long suspension, announced Thursday that Spagnuolo was being released. Payton also fired secondary coach Ken Flajole. “I personally want to thank Steve and Ken for their contributions during what was an unprecedented 2012 season,” Payton said. “Philosophically we are changing our defense to a 3-4 alignment and right now is the best time to accomplish this transition.” Without Payton, who was suspended for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal, and with linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith in limbo for portions of the schedule while their suspensions were being appealed — and eventually rescinded — the Saints lost their first four games. They gave up at least 27 points 11 times, and surrendered 52 to the N.Y. Giants, 44 to the Carolina Panthers and 40 to the Washington Redskins. Spagnuolo was the St. Louis Rams’ head coach for the previous three seasons, presenting a 10-38 record. He coordinated the Giants’ defense when they ended New England’s unbeaten season to win the 2008 Super Bowl. Flajole was with Spagnuolo in St. Louis and moved with him to New Orleans last season.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ray Rice reportedly wins appeal

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Ray Rice reportedly wins appeal

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Is Lance a problem for the Hornets?

5 NFL takeaways from Thanksgiving

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.