After interviewing a bunch of candidates, the Saints opted for organizational stability in hiring former Defensive Co-Ordinator Dennis Allen to replace Sean Payton as the new head coach.
Is this a sexy hire? Absolutely not. Dennis Allen is in a tough spot having to replace a living legend in Sean Payton who took the Saints to unprecedented heights the last 16 years. Allen is also 8-28 in his NFL career as a head coach after a failed stint with the Oakland Raiders.
Allen has done a spectacular job with the Saints defense the last 5 years. They have been one of the premier units in the NFL led by Cam Jordan, Demario Davis and Marshawn Lattimore. Allen also was the interim head coach when the Saints shut out Tom Brady 9-0 on Sunday Night Football in December.
I like this hire and here is why. The Saints have built a winning culture and organization with a 58-23 regular season record since 2017. Yes Drew Brees and Sean Payton were huge parts of that run. But why the heck would you blow that up? It is hard to win in the NFL and that cannot be taken for granted.
No one in the league can ever figure out how GM Mickey Loomis does it but he always makes magic happen with the salary cap. Jeff Ireland was hired in 2017 as head of scouting and has CRUSHED it since. Pete Carmichael (QB coach) will stay on the staff as an offensive assistant. Several other defensive assistants are expected to remain in place. None of this may be flashy but it should be effective.
Will Dennis Allen take the Saints back to the Super Bowl? That is going to be tough and will ultimately depend on what the Saints do at the QB position the next few years. Who the heck knows right now with Jameis Winston's torn ACL and Taysom Hill's lis franc foot injury? Do the Saints draft a QB in 1st round or run it back with Jameis? Or do they look at the trade market? Time will tell.
Looking around the NFC South, it is a division in tatters. The Saints could be the favorite to win it next year for the 5th time in 6 seasons. Matt Ryan looks pretty dang near washed up in Atlanta. Carolina is a chinese fire drill at QB and Tom Brady just retired in Tampa. The current goal is to remain the top organization in the NFC South and it is very reasonable.
On another note, the Barstool Sportsbook app launched in Louisiana recently. New players can get up to a $1000 risk free 1st bet! And I cannot wait to come back to Louisiana next week. I am hitting the entire state and we are taking the Barstool Sportsbook to the people!
Thanks again to the Stoolies for helping us raise over $16,000 for United Way's Hurricane Ida Relief in Louisiana. You can still purchase a Back The Boot shirt here to support Ida relief.