Saints’ head coaching job considered one of the least desirable
For the first time since 2006, the New Orleans Saints are in the market for a head coach. Sean Payton stepped away from the team on Tuesday and while some might think he’ll return to coaching (cough COWBOYS cough), for now, he’s recharging and enjoying his free time.
It’s good news that the Saints have a coach-in-waiting with Dennis Allen (at least that’s how most of us see this going down), as Judy Battista of NFL Network ranked the Saints’ now vacant job as the second-worst.
"Part of what wore on Payton last year is one of the big question marks that surrounds this opening: Who is the quarterback? And what becomes of wide receiver Michael Thomas? The Saints have a lot of work to do to rehab their offense, and whoever takes over for Payton will also have to navigate one of the league’s worst salary cap situations. The job becomes somewhat more attractive if Tom Brady retires, which would leave the NFC South wide open for the taking. But Payton’s departure marks the end of an era in New Orleans, and it feels like a rebuild could be on the horizon."
Saints fans might not like this opinion, but it’s hard to argue with Battista there. NOLA is $74 million under the cap, have no quarterback, and not an ideal situation at wide receiver. Michael Thomas should be back, but we haven’t seen the guy dominate since 2019. Trading him could be a real possibility.
Saints job not looked at as a good one
The section about the NFC South is interesting, however, as it would indeed make the division anyone’s game. The Falcons and Panthers both own top-10 picks in the upcoming draft, indicating that they weren’t very good last season and the Bucs are only relevant because of Tom Brady. If he leaves, that team is back to where they were this time two years ago.
The only position listed lower than New Orleans was the Houston Texans’ coaching position and it’s not hard to see why. Deshaun Watson doesn’t want to be there anymore and they have one of the worst rosters in the league.
At least in the Big Easy, the defense is top-notch and Alvin Kamara is still legit. Without a quarterback and good weapons to throw to, however, it’s hard to get excited about signing up to be the Saints’ head coach.
Fortunately, the team appears interested in promoting defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to Payton’s old position. We got to see Allen in that role during the 9-0 shutout win over Tampa, so we know Allen can handle it. He was also a head coach for the Raiders from 2012-2014, so he does have experience in that department, even if it didn’t go smoothly.
A lot has changed since then and Allen appears poised to take over if that’s what happens. Fans would be fine with that happening too.
It’s not shocking to see New Orleans’ vacant position near the bottom but the right coach can keep this team relevant even if it’ll be easier said than done.