3 former Giants ranked among top 10 defensive coordinators of all time

3 former Giants ranked among top 10 defensive coordinators of all time


Three former New York Giants assistant coaches are among Pro Football Network’s top 10 NFL defensive coordinators of all time.

Landry, most noted for his three-decades-long career as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, began his career as a player-coach with Big Blue in the 1950s.

As the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator from 1954-59, Landry was a true innovator. He devised the 4-3 defense, adding a middle linebacker and creating the front alignment still used in the NFL today. As Dallas’ HC, Landry also invented the “Flex” defense, a gap scheme that allowed for increased flexibility.


Spagnuolo, a well-traveled assistant who is now reaching legendary status with the current Kansas City Chiefs dynasty after three Super Bowl wins over the past four seasons, began his coordinator career with the Giants.


Of course, that’s not all Spagnuolo has done in the NFL. During his first stint as the New York Giants’ DC (2007-08), Spags upset the previously undefeated New England Patriots, shutting down arguably the greatest offense in league history en route to a Super Bowl XLII.


Finally, Belichick — perhaps the greatest coach in the history of the league with a combined eight Super Bowl championships — tops the list, and rightfully so. He began his illustrious career as Big Parcells’ DC with the Lawrence Taylor-led Giants in the 1980s.


Working under Bill Parcells with the Giants from 1985-90, Belichick won Super Bowls XXI and XXV as the club’s DC. In Super Bowl XXV, Belichick’s defense shut down Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills, who led the NFL in scoring in 1990 and had put up 51 points against the Raiders in the AFC title game. His game plan from the victory is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Anyone who was around back then for the 20-19 win over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV knows the greatness of Belichick. What the Giants did in that game was nothing short of remarkable.


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