It only took just under two weeks, but the New Orleans Saints have landed on their next head coach. It’s a familiar face, with 7-year defensive coordinator Dennis Allen reportedly taking the reins, per Adam Schefter. This will be Allen’s second head coaching stint. His first came with the then-Oakland Raiders, where he was 11-37 in three seasons.
Allen’s situation in New Orleans is a bit different, as he takes over a team that had won 10-plus games in each of the past four seasons before last year, in which they went 9-8. 2021 was a season fraught with adversity for the Saints, but Allen was at the helm for a major high note of it, a 9-0 win over the Buccaneers in which he was the interim head coach as Sean Payton was out with COVID-19.
Payton unexpectedly retired from coaching the Saints after the season, springing the Saints into a head coaching search. The Saints were the last team to hire a coach after last season, which makes sense given their late entry into the buyer’s market.
Payton leaves big shoes for Allen to fill. The Saints made the playoffs nine times in his 16 seasons as Saints head coach, including a Super Bowl title in the 2009-10 season. The Saints will face quite a few challenges moving forward, including Allen’s first major test: Find a quarterback to take the Saints forward next season.