Saints schedule 4 head coaching interviews this week

Following the departure of longtime head coach Sean Payton, the New Orleans Saints will be hard at work in the coming days to hire his replacement.

On Monday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Saints had talks with former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and their own defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen, lined up for the week.

Later in the day, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network added that New Orleans special teams coach Darren Rizzi is also set to be interviewed.

Flores is the only one of these four candidates to have no connection with the Saints. He was 24-25 in his three years as head coach at Miami. Considering the first year was basically a tank season, that’s not bad.

Allen’s head coaching experience dates back to 2012-14 with the then Oakland Raiders. He went 4-12 in 2012 and 2013 and 0-4 before being fired in 2014. The Raiders were 8-8 in the two seasons before Allen was hired. So there’s no way to turn this record into a positive. But a lot of time has passed since then. Additionally, the Saints finished seventh in total defense and fourth in points per game during the 2021 season.

Glenn was the defensive backs coach for the Saints from 2016 to 2020. The Lions were one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2021. Given where that franchise is, though, that has to be noted on a curve.

Rizzi, meanwhile, oversaw a special teams unit that Sports Illustrated’s Rick Gosselin ranked the fifth-best in the NFL for the 2021 season, so it’s not hard to see why he’s a contender for multiple jobs. .

With the exception of the 2012 season, which saw Aaron Kromer and Joe Vitt wander on the sidelines as interim coaches while Payton served his one-year suspension for Bountygate, this is the first time the Saints have been looking for a head coach since hiring Payton after the 2005 season. Because it’s been so long, they’re easily the hardest team to find out of anyone looking for a head coach.

But given the number of candidates, New Orleans is not rushing into anything. The saints are doing their due diligence.

[Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafalo]

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