The New Orleans Saints have yet to make and official announcement, but several sources are confirming that they have hired former Rams defensive coordinator Ken Flajole to become the teams new secondary coach.
New Orleans let secondary coach Tony Oden walk after he lead the Saints pass defense to a 30th overall ranking last season, only a year removed from being a top five unit under Dennis Allen.
Oden joined the staff of Mike Mularkey, the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Flajole will once again be paired with Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams former head coach, and now the Saints new defensive coordinator who will be tasked with re-building a defense that ranked 24th in the NFL last season.
Ironically the Saints former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, left to join the Rams in the same capacity just a few weeks ago in an effort to follow friend and new head coach Jeff Fisher — the man who replaced Spagnuolo in St.Louis.
Flajole has spent fourteen years coaching in the NFL, starting with the Green Bay Packers in 1998. He has primarily been a LB/DB coach, but he spent the last three seasons as the Rams defensive coordinator with Spagnuolo at the helm.
In 2011 the Rams defense under Flajole fared well — ranking 22nd in the NFL — better than the Saints, and even more impressive 7th against the pass after giving up only 206 yards per game.
He will need to equal that same success in New Orleans and he will work with a secondary that surrendered 259 passing yards per game in 2011 which ranked 30th in the NFL.
Lack of defense, or moreover the lack of pass defense, has been the primary reason the Saints have been bounced from the playoffs the last two seasons.
This year it was an 80-yard drive by the San Francisco 49ers in the closing minutes of their divisional game against the Saints, as 49ers tight end Vernon Davis caught two passes for 61 yards on the drive along with the game winning touchdown.