Yesterday, Jeff Duncan wrote a detailed article about former Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, who was hired by the Denver Broncos to be their defensive coordinator shortly after the Saints made their decision to hire Steve Spagnuolo. Duncan contrast's the two defensive hirings and their subsequent results for each team in their first year on the job.
Obviously, we know how this story ends. Spagnuolo led the Saints through the NFL's worst season ever while Del Rio's defense went from 20th overall in 2011 to second best in the league and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Quite separate directions.
So it's only natural to wonder: what if the Saints had hired Del Rio instead?
Sure, asking these type of questions are an effort in futility. Hiring Del Rio might not have even been an option for the Saints. But I certainly don't think it would have been out of the realm of possibility. Del Rio's wife is from Lafayette and they already own a home uptown, after all. For the sake of our argument, however, let's say it was possible.
How might things have been different for the Saints this past year? Would it have made a damn bit of difference, given the lack of talent on this defense? Or does this defense merely appear talent-less because it simply lacks the right coach for the job? A coach like, say, Jack Del Rio.
Just some food for thought and discussion.