Aaron Glenn

Saints To Name Dennis Allen As New Head Coach

The final head coaching vacancy has been filled. The Saints have informed defensive coordinator Dennis Allen that he’ll be the team’s new head coach, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

Allen was thought to be the favorite for the gig considering his familiarity with the franchise and the continuity he’d provide in a post-Sean Payton era. As SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan reports (on Twitter), Allen isn’t expected to make many (if any) changes to the coaching staff, while Albert Breer of TheMMQB notes (on Twitter) that the new HC also has a strong relationship with the scouting department.

The 49-year-old’s coaching career started in Atlanta, but he took on a bigger role once he moved to New Orleans, eventually becoming their secondary coach (which saw him earn his lone Super Bowl ring). He later became the Broncos defensive coordinator before getting hired as the Raiders head coach in 2012.

His tenure with Oakland didn’t last very long. Early on in his third season in charge, he was fired, and he finished his tenure as head coach with an 8-28 record. Allen ended up returning to the Saints, and after a brief stint as a senior defensive assistant, he became their defensive coordinator in 2015.

In his seven seasons in the role, Allen rehabilitated his image. He was on the HC radar last offseason, and he was a candidate for the Bears head coaching gig this cycle. Once Payton left New Orleans, he seemed like a natural replacement for the Saints. While he received some strong competition from the likes of Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores (per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter), Allen was ultimately chosen as the 11th full-time head coach in franchise history.

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints created nine full-time vacancies available this year.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 2-7-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Coaching Rumors: Saints, Texans, McDaniel, Giants, Broncos

The Saints began their cycle of head coaching interviews this week, conducting meetings with the following candidates: former Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson (1/30; hired by Jaguars), former Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores (2/1), Lions’ defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn (2/2), their current special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi (2/3), their current defensive coordinator Dennis Allen (2/4), and Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (2/6).

New Orleans also requested permission to interview Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. There were some early reports that permission had been granted, but that hasn’t been confirmed and nothing has been scheduled, as of yet. ESPN’s Saints’ reporter Mike Triplett also mentioned that current offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael was offered an opportunity to interview for the position, but Carmichael declined. Despite being a part of Sean Payton‘s staff since Payton’s tenure in New Orleans began back in 2006, it appears Carmichael has no interest in running the show in the Big Easy. Whether he has retirement or another destination in mind or he is just comfortable in his role, Carmichael will not be the Saints’ next head coach.

Here are a few more notes from the ongoing coaching searches and staff changes throughout the NFL, starting with the other head coaching vacancy:

  • Houston recently narrowed their list of head coaching candidates down to three: Brian Flores, former quarterback Josh McCown, and Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Well, according to USA Today’s Josina Anderson, the Texans are now down to two candidates, with Gannon being informed Saturday that he will not be receiving the head coaching position, leaving Flores and McCown as the two remaining names.
  • New Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel reportedly has interest in holding on to some of the defensive assistants currently under contract in Miami, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. This includes current defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, who followed Flores to Miami from New England. The lack of staff turnover would be a positive for a defensive unit that played well during the team’s seven-game win-streak in the back half of the season.
  • The Giants were able to add a piece to Brian Daboll‘s new staff while missing out on another today. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweeted out that Andy Bischoff will become the Giants’ new tight ends coach. Bischoff followed David Culley from Baltimore to Houston and will make the lateral move over from the Texans with their head coaching position still in the air. Unfortunately, the Giants did not get their running backs coach, as Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweeted out that Deland McCullough has turned down Daboll’s offer, choosing instead to remain the running backs coach at Notre Dame, believing it gives him the best opportunity to eventually become a head coach.
  • New Broncos’ head coach Nathaniel Hackett is also looking to fill out his staff. The Broncos are planning to interview Jon Embree who most recently held the position of tight ends coach/assistant head coach in San Francisco. Embree parted ways with the Niners after being asked to take a 60 percent pay cut after San Francisco’s NFC Championship loss. The man who has coached George Kittle since he was drafted in 2017 would be a nice addition to Hackett’s system.

Doug Pederson Added As A Candidate For Saints’ HC Job

The list of names being linked to the league’s newest head coaching vacancy continues to grow. The Saints have already completed an interview with Doug Pederson, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). 

[Related: Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Rapoport notes that the interview took place on Sunday, making Pederson the fifth candidate whose name has been attached to New Orleans. The 54-year-old has already been listed as a candidate for the jobs in Chicago, Denver, Minnesota and Jacksonville. While the level of interest on each side has differed in all four of those cases – the first two on that list have already hired their new coaches, and Pederson doesn’t appear to be a finalist for the other two openings – the buzz he is generating is certainly notable.

After being fired by the Eagles last year, Pederson was out of the NFL in 2021. There is certainly an interest around the league for the Super Bowl LII champion, though, including from the Saints, who are in catch-up mode relative to the other HC-needy teams.

In a related tweet, Rapoport details the schedule for the other Saints’ interviewees this week. The plan is, apparently, to meet with each of Brian FloresAaron Glenn and Dennis Allen in that order. The only exclusion from that list is Byron Leftwich, whom the team has put in an interview request for.

Here’s an updated look at the Saints’ coaching search:

Saints Expected To Interview Dennis Allen, Aaron Glenn For HC

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.

 

Vikings Request Interview With Rams’ DC Raheem Morris

Another name has been added to the list of potential head coaching candidates in Minnesota. The team has requested an interview with Raheem Morris, the current Rams defensive coordinator (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Peter Schrager). 

Morris, 45, has an NFL coaching background dating back to 2002. He has spent time primarily as a defensive backs coach, serving in that role in Tampa Bay (on two different occasions, including the Super Bowl XXXVII-winning squad) and Washington. However, he also took over as the Bucs’ head coach after the firing of Jon Gruden in January of 2009. He had an encouraging year in 2010, posting a 10-6 record, but the one preceding and following that campaign saw the team put up a combined record of 7-25.

After a three year stint in Washington, Morris got his next prominent coaching positions in Atlanta. He served as an assistant head coach and pass game coordinator from his arrival in 2015 to 2019. Then, in 2020, he became the team’s DC until taking over as interim HC following Dan Quinn’s firing. He interviewed to remain in Atlanta on a full-time basis, but the team ultimately went with former Titans OC Arthur Smith.

This past offseason, Morris was hired by the Rams to take over for now-Chargers HC Brandon Staley as the team’s defensive coordinator. His work in L.A. has prompted many to expect more head coaching opportunities, so it was surprising this is the first request he has received in the 2022 coaching cycle.

The news brings the total number of candidates linked to the Vikings’ HC vacancy to ten. Here is the updated list:

 

Broncos Request Permission To Interview Eric Bieniemy, Dan Quinn, Others

Let’s add five more names to the Broncos HC search. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver requested permission to interview Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (Twitter link) and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (Twitter link) for their head coaching vacancy. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Broncos also requested permission to interview Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo (Twitter link) and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett (Twitter link). Finally, Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos requested permission to interview Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Hackett will interview Saturday, according to Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, one of the 10 candidates linked to this job already, will begin the interview run by meeting with the team Thursday.

[RELATED: Broncos Request Three Interviews For HC Vacancy]

After being out of the game for much of last season, with the Falcons firing him after a bad start, Quinn has moved himself back onto the head-coaching radar. The Cowboys’ defense has improved significantly in his first season overseeing the unit. He figures to generate interest from other teams once more vacancies emerge. Quinn previously refused an interview with the Jaguars until after the season.

Bieniemy has been with the Chiefs since Andy Reid’s 2013 Kansas City arrival. Thought to be a slam-dunk hire in both the 2020 and ’21 offseasons, the 52-year-old assistant has failed to land a head coaching job. Taking over as Kansas City’s OC from Matt Nagy, who followed Doug Pederson in being hired for an HC post, Bieniemy has been in this role throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ dominant run as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback.

Mayo had a standout career with the Patriots, with the former 10th-overall pick earning two Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl ring during his eight seasons in New England. Mayo rejoined the organization as their linebackers coach in 2019. While New England is currently operating without a true defensive coordinator, Mayo (along with Steve Belichick) is assumed to be atop the defensive coaching depth chart.

Hackett served as the Jaguars offensive coordinator between 2016 and 2018, including a 2017 campaign where the Jaguars offense ranked toward the top of the NFL in a number of categories. The veteran coach was canned midway through the 2018 season, and he’s spent the past three years serving as Green Bay’s OC. The Packers offense had a standout season in 2020, and while the team finished 2021 with the best record in the league, both the passing game and the running game have taken a step back this year.

Moore inked a three-year extension with the Cowboys towards the close of the 2020 season, but he’s remained a hot name in coaching circles. The rival Eagles requested an interview with him in January of 2021 before ultimately going with Nick Sirianni.

Broncos Request Three Interviews For HC Vacancy

The Broncos moved on from head coach Vic Fangio earlier today, and they’ve naturally started eyeing potential replacements. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter links), the Broncos requested interviews with Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos have also requested an interview with Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

[RELATED: Broncos Fire HC Vic Fangio]

Gannon, 39, has spent 15 years as a coach and scout. Following a three-year stint as the Colts defensive backs coach, he was hired as the Eagles defensive coordinator last offseason. During his first season in the role, the Eagles defense ranked top-10 in yards allowed, with Philly’s rush defense showing particular promise.

Glenn had a 15-year career as a cornerback, and he’s transitioned to coaching in recent years. He had a long stint as the Saints defensive backs coach before getting hired as the Lions DC in 2021. While the Lions defense left plenty to be desired this past season, the 49-year-old is still highly regarded in coaching circles.

O’Connell has been a popular name since taking over as Rams offensive coordinator in 2020. Following an impressive first season in Los Angeles, the Rams offense took a small step back in 2021, although this was mostly due to an inconsistent rushing attack.

Lions Hire Aaron Glenn As DC

After a false start, Detroit has sealed the deal. The Lions have agreed to hire Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn as their defensive coordinator (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). 

[RELATED: Lions Hire Dan Campbell]

Glenn’s stock has skyrocketed in recent years. The longtime NFL cornerback was even considered for the Jets’ head coaching vacancy, before Robert Saleh came away with the job. The Bengals also tried to interview him for their DC role back in 2019, before they were blocked by the Saints.

Glenn entered the league as a first-round pick of the Jets and went on to enjoy 15 years in the league. He stayed in the game after his retirement in 2008 with scouting role before launching his coaching career with the Browns in 2014.

Saints head coach Sean Payton has spoken highly of Glenn, so it’s no surprise to see him move up the ladder. With offensively-minded head coach Dan Campbell at the helm, Glenn figures to have ample control over the other side of the ball.

Lions To Hire Saints’ Aaron Glenn As DC?

8:01pm: This may not be a done deal just yet. While the Lions may well be set to bring Campbell and Glenn to Michigan, the latter assistant has other options. Two other teams have expressed interest in hiring Glenn as defensive coordinator, and veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson tweets the veteran secondary coach is still determining which job he will take.

2:55pm: The Lions are expected to hire Saints assistant Dan Campbell as their new head coach, and he’s bringing another Sean Payton protégé with him. Detroit is hiring Aaron Glenn to be their defensive coordinator, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Glenn is currently the secondary coach in New Orleans. His profile has been growing rapidly recently, and he even got a head coaching interview with the Jets a couple weeks back. His star has been rising for a while now, as the Bengals tried to interview him for their DC role back in 2019 but were blocked by the Saints

Glenn had a prolific playing career, as he spent 15 years in the league as a corner after getting drafted 12th overall by the Jets back in 1994. His last pro season was in 2008 with the Saints, and after a brief stint as a scout he broke into the coaching ranks with the Browns as an assistant DBs coach in 2014.

He joined Payton’s staff in 2016, and has been on it ever since. He’s clearly highly regarded around the league, and if Detroit has any success on defense he’ll be a name to keep an eye on in future head coaching searches.