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Saints, Sean Payton Coaching Search Begins

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The Saints have five vacant coaching positions to fill and the clock is ticking.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Saints head coach Sean Payton said his coaching hires would begin in earnest once all the excitement and hoopla of Super Bowl XLVII had died down. With the Ravens being crowned champions in the Superdome on Sunday night, that time is now.

The Saints have five coaching positions that need to be filled, some more important than others. They're currently in the market for a new defensive coordinator, secondary coach, assistant defensive line coach, offensive line coach, and assistant special teams coach.

Obviously, the biggest and most important hire is defensive coordinator. Who the team chooses to lead this new 3-4 defense will invariably determine the direction this team heads in 2013. The secondary and assistant defensive line coaching positions will most likely be filled once a coordinator is named.

Normally when it comes to important positions like coordinators, it's a race to grab the best possible candidate for the job before they're taken. Considering Payton wanted to wait until after the Super Bowl, however, it might very well mean he's got his eye on someone from the staff of the 49ers and/or Ravens.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ted Monachino is a potential candidate for the position while Larry Holder reports two 49ers coaches might also be in the running.

San Francisco secondary coach Ed Donatell and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune last week they both hope to become defensive coordinators. Donatell said he would listen to any situation presented to him, but it's uncertain if the Niners would allow him to talk to other teams, even for a promotion.

Holder also notes that Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis has been rumored as a potential defensive coordinator target. And we can't forget about Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini, both of whom have already been mentioned as interests.

There has been significantly less chatter about whom the Saints might target to fill the vacant offensive line coaching position, so it's hard to speculate the direction they'll take.

It won't be much longer before these major decisions get made so be on the lookout for breaking news. In the meantime, who else might be potential new members of the 2013 Saints coaching staff?