New Saints OC Klint Kubiak is bringing a familiar staffer with him to New Orleans. Rick Dennison will return to coaching, re-emerging after two seasons out of the league.
The Saints are hiring Dennison as their run-game coordinator on offense, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Dennison has an extensive past with Gary Kubiak and Mike Shanahan, who played the lead roles in shaping the offense that has caught on thanks to the rises of Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay.
Dennison, 65, will head to New Orleans as a four-time offensive coordinator. While Dennison’s OC days are probably over, his commitment to join Klint Kubiak with the NFC South team provides a fairly strong indication into the type of offense the new OC plans to implement. Dennison worked with both Kubiaks in Minnesota, being the Vikings’ O-line coach and run-game coordinator from 2019-20. He was on as a senior offensive assistant in 2021.
Mike Shanahan employed Dennison as an assistant throughout his 14-year stay as Broncos HC. The former Broncos linebacker was not in place as offensive line coach when a dominant Denver O-line helped Terrell Davis to the Hall of Fame, though he was in that role as the back half of the team’s assembly line of 1,000-yard rushers formed under Shanahan. The Broncos promoted Dennison to OC in 2006, and he rejoined Gary Kubiak in Houston in 2010. Dennison’s stay as Texans OC overlapped with Arian Foster‘s ascent, which included a rushing title, with the Texans.
Dennison carries three Super Bowl rings from his Broncos days, picking up No. 3 as Gary Kubiak’s non-play-calling OC in 2015. The Bills employed Dennison as a play-calling OC in Sean McDermott‘s first season (2017) but fired him after one season, leading to the Brian Daboll hire. The Bills ranked 22nd offensively under Dennison but sixth on the ground, as LeSean McCoy motored to another Pro Bowl in Buffalo. Dennison came under fire in 2021, refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Vikings were believed to have kept Dennison on staff but moved him out of his role as O-line coach as a result, as coaches needed to be vaccinated to work directly with players that year.
The Saints are also hiring former Chargers assistant Derrick Foster as their running backs coach, 247Sports.com’s Matt Zenitz tweets. They recently interviewed Keith Williams for their wide receivers coach position as well, NewOrleans.football’s Nick Underhill adds. Williams worked as the Ravens’ assistant wideouts coach last season, being hired during Greg Roman‘s OC tenure but moved to that job under Todd Monken. Williams was also on Pat Hill’s Fresno State staff from 2009-11, a period that overlapped with Derek Carr‘s years with the program.