In the aftermath of Sean Payton’s decision to step away from the team, the Saints are in need of a new head coach for the first time since 2006. Two names have been brought up as candidates expected to be interviewed for the vacancy: Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Lions DC Aaron Glenn (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport).
[Related: Sean Payton “Stepping Away”]
Allen’s name being listed should come as no surprise. He was touted as a candidate when it surfaced Payton may not be returning to New Orleans. The 49-year-old began his NFL coaching career with the Saints, including a stretch as the team’s secondary coach during their Super Bowl XLIV win. He was hired to be the Broncos’ DC not long after, which earned him his first head coaching opportunity.
Allen took over as the Raiders’ HC in 2012, but his tenure didn’t last very long. Early on in his third season in charge, he was fired. With a record of 8-28, he had not received much interest from teams for another HC gig, but that has changed recently. Following a return to New Orleans, and a promotion to DC in November of 2015, Allen was back on teams’ radars last year, and is currently scheduled to interview with the Bears. Things may change, however, if Allen is offered Payton’s old position first.
Glenn, meanwhile, served as a colleague of Allen’s with the Saints from 2016 to 2020. His work there earned him the DC job in Detroit this past offseason. The fact that he was in that role for only one season – along with, of course, the Lions’ record, placing them in the basement of the NFC – speaks volumes about how he is regarded around the league. The 49-year-old has already interviewed with the Broncos and been linked to the opening in Minnesota.
For the latest on the Saints’ coaching search, and those of the other eight teams with a vacancy, be sure to check our Tracker regularly.