For those who thought last offseason was one full of change, this offseason has proven to be equally eventful in that regard. On the heels of Sean Payton’s sudden retirement, the New Orleans Saints did its due diligence throughout the coaching search and finally found its man in defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who they promoted to head coach. The move made sense as he has been on the staff since 2015, knows the innerworkings of the team, and understands the culture and vision in New Orleans. One of his first major tasks as head coach will be to find an offensive coordinator and not just anyone. Following up the brilliance of play calling that Sean Payton had for so many years will indeed be a tall order so whoever the Saints bring in will be unfairly compared and scrutinized to how dynamic the Saints offenses were under Payton.
The new coordinator will also not know off the bat how full the cupboard may be in New Orleans. The Saints will be for the second straight year looking to solidify the quarterback position. Whether that means resigning Jameis Winston, drafting a QB, or maybe trading for a veteran, the most important position on the field is currently an unknown for the team. What’s also an unknown is if the Saints will have to deal with Life without Kamara for any significant amount of time next season stemming for his arrest and accusation of assault during the Pro Bowl weekend. We will wait on further details, but I’m sure the league is looking closely at this and will dole out punishment, if necessary. You also have All-Pro WR Michael Thomas who hasn’t played in a game in over a year, after having surgery on his ankle so you can only hope he has returned to 100%. There is also the contract of Terron Armstead to deal with, as well as upgrades that need to be made at the tight end position, wide receiver, and possibly running back depending on what happens with Kamara.
Suffice to say whoever gets the job will have a lot on his plate to deal with so having an experienced, quality coordinator is a must. Could a guy like Eric Bieniemy be the right man for the job? He is a New Orleans native who has led one of the most dynamic offenses in the recent history with the Kansas City Chiefs to unrivaled success. He interviewed for the head coaching job with the Saints and while he didn’t get it, his interview lasted 8 hours. I’m sure he left an impression on the Saints brass and should be a top target for the job. His contract is set to expire with the Chiefs so the timing may be just right for this.
You also have a guy like Doug Marrone who was just recently hired back to the Saints staff. Early reports are he will be the Saints new OL coach, but could he get a shot at the coordinator gig? He certainly has experience in that position having held the same title with the Saints 2006-2008. In those 3 years, the Saints finished in the top 5 in offense twice. While there won’t be a Drew Brees at QB for the Saints likely next season, having an experienced guy who has had that position in Marrone may be somewhat stabilizing for such an enigmatic group as they stand now. You may also have a dark horse in Greg Olsen who was Allen’s OC in Oakland, when he was the head coach in 2013. The familiarity between he and Olsen would make for an easy transition with the Saints. Could it also be the fuel to attempt to land Derek Carr in New Orleans?
Who do you want to see as the Saints next offensive corrdinator?
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Many have wondered why the guy who technically has the title in Pete Carmichael won’t be given the full fledge chance next season. Initial reports are that he will be retained on staff but won’t have that position for unexplained reasons. Should he be giving the chance though? That will ultimately be Dennis Allen’s decision to make. A decision that will no doubt have immediate impacts on various aspects of the team. The Saints felt they got the right head coach and now it’s time for Allen to pick the right guy to lead the offense.