Per The Advocate’s Nick Underhill, it appears the New Orleans Saints are starting to address their vacant assistant coaching spots. From his Monday afternoon report, there should be an interview soon with former 49ers special teams coach Derius Swinton.
Under Swinton's guidance, the 49ers ranked fifth in average kickoff return yardage (19.8) and 23rd against punts. The 31-year-old previous served as an assistant special teams coach with the Rams (2009-2011), Chiefs (2012), Broncos (2013-14) and Bears (2015).
Swinton’s market has also drawn interest from the Denver Broncos.
It’s no secret that the Saints have had one of the worst special teams units in the NFL, and the dismissal of Greg McMahon was something fans had called for over the past couple of seasons. According to Football Outsiders, the Saints had a DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) of -1.9 percent (27th) in 2016, while the 49ers were at 1.9 percent (17th).
The addition of Kevin O’Dea tremendously elevated rookie kicker Wil Lutz‘s game after early season struggles, and hopefully that doesn’t go unnoticed if someone like Swinton were brought on.
The Saints will also have to fill coaching vacancies at linebacker and defensive line in addition to special teams.