Saints Fire OC Pete Carmichael

Saints head coach Dennis Allen appears to be safe for 2024, but his staff will look different next season. Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael has been fired, Mike Triplett and Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football report. The move is now official.

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Allen – like each of the other coaches in the NFC South – faced questions about his job security throughout the season. New Orleans failed to win the league’s most underwhelming division, but expectations pointed to at least one more season for him at the helm. He said as much on ‘Black Monday,’ but signs have pointed to substantial changes on the offensive side of the ball in particular.

Indeed, not only Carmichael but also wide receivers coach Kodi Burns and senior offensive assistant Bob Bicknell have been dismissed. A report from last month indicated the Saints’ offensive staff would be subject to an examination, and that has proven to be the case. As a result, New Orleans is now in the market for an OC for the first time since 2009.

Carmichael joined Sean Payton‘s initial Saints staff in 2006, having a pre-existing relationship with quarterback Drew Brees. He was promoted to coordinator three years later, and remained in place through the 2023 campaign. That easily made him the league’s longest-tenured offensive coordinator, but his time with the franchise has now come to an end. The Saints’ statistical showings under Carmichael since Payton’s departure two years ago leave plenty to be desired.

New Orleans ranked 19th in total offense and 22nd in scoring in 2022. Issues at quarterback played a major factor in those struggles, leading to the signing of Derek Carr on a four-year, $150MM deal this past offseason. The four-time Pro Bowler battled injury for much of his debut Saints campaign, and he did show signs of improvement late in the year. Despite that (and a respectable ninth place finish in points), the team finished only 14th in yards per game. Struggles in the run game in particular were prevalent, and they contributed to Carmichael’s departure.

Carr’s 2024 base salary ($30MM) is guaranteed, and as currently structured, his contract is set to lock in a $10MM roster bonus for 2025 in March. With his short-term future in New Orleans thus relatively secure, the team’s OC search will be predicated in large part on finding a candidate able to mesh well with the veteran quarterback. The Saints’ receiver room will continue to be led by Chris Olave, but former All-Pro Michael Thomas faces an uncertain future given the nature of his latest contract. New faces not only on the sidelines but on the field could therefore be present in 2024.

“I would like to thank Pete, Bob and Kodi for their service to the New Orleans Saints and to this coaching staff,” a statement from Allen reads. “These types of decisions are never easy to come to, but are necessary as we move forward. I would especially like to thank Pete for his contributions to this staff for 18 seasons. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the job he has done and as a colleague.”

Once again set to face significant salary cap hurdles, New Orleans’ offseason will now include an OC search. That process could go a long way in determining the franchise’s outlook for 2024 and beyond as the Saints aim to take a step forward in offensive productivity and in the standings.

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