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Head Coach Spot Filled: Saints Promote Dennis Allen

(Image credit Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Written by: Nicholas Mullick

The New Orleans Saints were put in a tough spot after news came where Sean Payton decided to step down as the head coach for the team. It is a tough loss for a team with many questions. One question asked is Who will the New Orleans Saints decide to put as head coach. Well the NFL and Saints finally got their answer as they decided to promote Dennis Allen to head coach.

As always I start by diving into the NFL Coaching journey for Dennis Allen. Dennis Allen would start his coaching journey in college football with Texas A&M as a Graduate assistant from 1996-1999. Allen would then be a secondary coach for Tulsa in 2000-2001. Allen then made his debut coaching in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons as a Defensive quality control coordinator from 2002-2003. He then got promoted as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons from 2004-2005. Dennis Allen was then hired by the New Orleans Saints as an assistant to the defensive line coach from 2006-2007. He then got promoted to the secondary coach for 2008-2010. In 2011 Dennis Allen became the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. Allen then got hired in his most memorable role as the Head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 2012-2014. Allen then returned to the New Orleans Saints as Senior defensive assistant in 2015 and got promoted to the defensive coordinator until 2021. Dennis Allen in total has 25 years of coaching experience. Now he is again promoted as the head coach replacing Sean Payton.

Now first off I want to say that I called that this would happen. In my Sean Payton article, I stated that “​​. Who should the Saints hire as coach? Honestly, I would pull a move that is common with the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and promote it from within. For the New Orlean Saints, I would promote defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as head coach. I mean Allen does have head coaching experience during his tenure with the Raiders when they were in Oakland. Even though it was a bad tenure, this decision by Sean Payton was kind of a late one so I would promote Dennis Allen.” I was shocked that they actually did this and it was not a surprise at all that they would be doing this as Payton’s decision to leave was absolutely a late one.

Now just because the Saints had few choices and had to promote from within does not mean that it is a great move. Why well because Dennis Allen was a brutal head coach during his time with the Oakland Raiders from 2012 to 2014. Heck, he got fired four weeks in during the 2014 season it was that awful. Plus in three seasons he could not even get more than 8 wins which is absolutely terrible for a coach employed for three years. Dennis Allen to me is the usual phrase of being a terrific coordinator but an abysmal head coach.

But what Dennis Allen did do was learn under Sean Payton ever since he was fired by the Raiders in 2014. He immediately made an impact on this defense. Keep in mind before he arrived in 2015 the New Orleans Saints were one of the worst in the league especially in their pass rush and secondary. Once Dennis Allen took over as the defensive coordinator this defense heavily improved. But like I said, a strong coordinator is an awful head coach but he could have learned his lessons and improved during his time under Sean Payton’s coaching tree. To be honest I won't be surprised if Dennis Allen is a one-and-done coach as the Saints may undergo more changes. Have you seen how bad their salary cap situation is going to be in the offseason? But again the Saints were put in a tough spot right now and Dennis Allen does have a relationship with the players and could handle the culture of the organization during this time of transition with Sean Payton's departure.

As always I end these articles by saying Congratulations to Mr. Allen for being promoted as the new head coach for the New Orleans Saints. I wish him success with the Saints but there is a lot of work that still needs to be done with this team. Especially as the team might be blowing it up during the offseason.



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