New Orleans Saints’ hiring of Dennis Allen met with mixed reviews

Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Dennis Allen, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints have their next head coach and its former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who served in the role from 2015-2021. This hire didn’t necessarily surprise anyone but not everyone is thrilled about the hire.

Justin Melo of The Draft Network graded all nine head coaching hires and had Allen as the third-worst with a “C” grade.

"Allen will deliver necessary continuation. The Saints’ franchise and players are plenty familiar with Allen’s coaching techniques and overall personality. For those reasons, Allen’s promotion makes sense on the surface. There are also concerns in relation to this appointment. Allen previously served as a head coach with the Las Vegas Raiders from 2012-14, where he racked up a horrid record of 8-28 before being fired throughout the early portion of his third campaign. Allen has been an excellent defensive coordinator in New Orleans, but being the head coach brings different challenges and responsibilities altogether. The jury is very much out on this hire."

I see what Melo is getting at with his assessment.

As I mentioned in my write-up of the pros and cons of having Allen as the head coach, it’s hard not to look back at his head coaching tenure with the Raiders and worry a bit. Allen won just eight games during his not-even three years with the organization before getting canned early in the 2014 season.

My argument for that, however, is that a lot has changed since then. Allen joined the Saints the very next season and turned their defense into one of the most ferocious units in the league. He also had a chance to learn under Sean Payton and that’s going to help anyone become a better coach.

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The funny thing to me here is that while Allen is knocked for his previous coaching experience, Josh McDaniels was not. Melo gave Las Vegas the highest grade for their hire of McDaniels and he’s someone who previously served as a head coach and failed as well.

We’re all rooting for Allen to do well and after seeing the outside’s perspective on him, I’m pulling for him even more now to prove the naysayers wrong.

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Go get ’em, Coach Allen!