The New Orleans Saints informed Dennis Allen that he would be the next head coach for the team. Sean Payton suddenly retired after last season, leaving a huge opening in one of the winningest teams the past decade. The Saints interviewed several worthy contenders, but ultimately the current defensive coordinator won the job. Allen has turned around the Saints defense the past couple of seasons, likely helping his case to be the new head coach. The Saints will now go into the off-season with a familiar leader at the helm, but the offense will still be in shambles. Hiring a coach for the offense might have been the better hire for the Saints, especially after what the offense went through last season.
Saints should have hired offense coach
Dennis Allen was the only coach interviewed by the Saints with head coaching experience. This likely had a lot to do with him getting the job. The Saints roster is still full of veteran players, especially on the defensive side of the ball. This was also likely a strong reason to bring Allen back as the head coach. Allen will keep the defense clicking which will keep the Saints competitive in any game next season. It is unknown if the defense would have stayed as dominant if Allen would have departed. The talent on that side of the ball would have likely translated for any coaching staff, but the Saints front office decided to keep Allen and promote him. Allen will have to change the trend of defensive led teams and being successful in the NFL.
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Recent history shows offense wins Championships
In the last decade, a defense-first head coach has won the Super Bowl four times. Of these four wins, three of them were done by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. It is hard to quantify, but Belichick’s success really changes how this decade’s record is perceived. Belichick’s teams were not exclusively defense-led. The lone win by the other coach was Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. When looking at scores across Super Bowls, it is likely that just three of the teams that won the big game the past 10 years were actually defense-led. One of the Patriots teams, the Seahawks win, and a win by the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 are the only wins that can be attributed directly to a strong defense output. Modern-day NFL is based on offense and that has shown to hold true with recent Super Bowl winners. Allen will have to join an exclusive company to buck the trend. Regardless, Allen and the front office will have to address the poor offense immediately.
One of the things that the Saints and Dennis Allen discussed should have been how to handle the offense going forward. If part of Allen’s interview was putting together a plan for the offense, then that could have also been a huge reason he was hired as the Saints head coach. A decade ago, hiring Allen would have had no detractors. The NFL has changed in recent history. The rules have caused the offenses to take over games. Hiring someone like Eric Bieniemy would have brought a clear plan for the offense in the door. Without knowing what happened in the interviews, it is not unreasonable to worry about what Allen and the front office have planned for the offense. If the Saints would have hired an offense-first coach, the worry about the current weakness of the Saints would have been less than it is now.