FEBRUARY 2nd: The Saints have formally announced that Allen will stay on as the team’s defensive coordinator. They have also confirmed their other moves on the staff, including the appointment of Dan Campbell as tight ends coach/assistant head coach.
JANUARY 13th: If the Saints haven’t already officially agreed to a deal with Dennis Allen to remain the team’s defensive coordinator, they’ll do so soon, says Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Allen, who replaced Rob Ryan during the 2015 season as the interim defensive coordinator in New Orleans, will be retained as the Saints’ permanent DC.
A week ago, Saints head coach Sean Payton was asked during his end-of-year press conference if Allen would be brought back as the team’s defensive coordinator, and declined to say one way or the other. However, Payton indicated at the time that Allen did a good job stepping in for Ryan, and would likely return for the 2016 season.
Allen, who was on the Saints’ coaching staff from 2006 to 2010, working with the defensive line and the secondary, earned his first defensive coordinator job with the Broncos in 2011 before becoming the head coach of the Raiders. After leaving Oakland, Allen returned to New Orleans in 2015 as a defensive assistant.
The Saints’ defense was one of the NFL’s worst in 2015, ranking 31st in the league in yards allowed per game (413.8) and dead last in points allowed per game (29.8) for the season. Still, those numbers improved slightly under Allen. In the team’s six games following the change at defensive coordinator, New Orleans gave up 395.3 yards and 26.8 points per contest.
If and when the Saints officially name Allen as their permanent defensive coordinator heading into the 2016 season, the club will become the third club this month to announce a DC hire. The Colts hired Ted Monachino and the Dolphins hired Vance Joseph within the last week.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.