Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn will interview for the vacant head coaching position in New Orleans.
Ian Rapoport reports Allen is the leading candidate to replace Sean Payton, who suddenly stepped away from the team after 16 seasons as head coach.
New Orleans narrowly missed the playoffs with a 9-8 record in 2021. They had won the NFC South in each of the previous four years.
The 49-year-old Allen has been with the Saints for 12 seasons when he joined the New Orleans as the secondary coach in 2006. The Denver Broncos named him as the defensive coordinator in 2011. Allen was with the Broncos for just one year before being hired as head coach by the Oakland Raiders in 2012. His record was 8-28 with the Raiders before being fired four games into the 2014 season.
Allen returned to the Saints in 2015 as a defensive assistant. Midway through that year, he was promoted to defensive coordinator to replace Rob Ryan. He has served as defensive coordinator for the last seven seasons.
Dennis Allen has built one of the NFL's best defenses over the last few years. New Orleans ranked 7th in total defense in 2021, 4th in 2020, and has held one of the league's most formidable run defenses the last four years.
This season, Sean Payton was sidelined by Covid during a Week 15 game at Tampa Bay. Allen took over head coaching duties and led the Saints to the defending Super Bowl champions' 9-0 road upset.
Aaron Glenn is coming off his first season as defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions. The Lions finished 29th in total defense, ranking 28th against the run and 24th against the pass. It was his only season as a coordinator in an eight-year coaching career.
Glenn was a cornerback for 15 NFL seasons from 1994 to 2008, most notably with the New York Jets. He had 41 career interceptions, scored six defensive touchdowns, and earned three Pro Bowl bids.
Glenn got his first coaching job with the Cleveland Browns in 2014, where he served as an assistant defensive backfield coach for two seasons. The Saints hired Glenn in 2016 as the defensive backfield coach.
Allen and Glenn helped reverse the fortune of a New Orleans pass defense that ranked at the bottom of the league from 2014 through 2016. They developed some of the NFL's best defensive backs like CB Marshon Lattimore and safeties Marcus Williams and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
New Orleans led the league with 18 interceptions in 2020, finishing fifth in pass defense. The Saints will interview several candidates for a head coaching job where Sean Payton had the league's second-longest tenure.
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