The New Orleans Saints have had a major overhaul in the past year. First, it was Drew Brees retiring and getting replaced by Jameis Winston. Then, it was Sean Payton, who stepped away from his long-time head coaching position and was replaced by Dennis Allen.
When Brees retired, a big reason people still believed that the Saints could be competitive is because of Payton. Now that he’s gone, it’s not surprising that people don’t believe in Allen to run the Saints as successfully as his former colleague.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports ranked the 17 new head coach/quarterback pairings and put Allen and Winston near the bottom of his list. They clocked in at No. 13.
Here’s what Benjamin had to say on the matter:
"Allen may be a familiar face in New Orleans, running Sean Payton’s defense and briefly filling in for Payton in 2021. But he’s not exactly the prototype for a head coach these days: a defensively minded retread. Winston, on the other hand, certainly still has potential, but he’s coming off a torn ACL, and his mercurial track record makes it unclear how much he can be trusted."
Jameis Winston, Dennis Allen not getting much credit
Winston looked good last season before a season-ending injury put a stop to that. Considering that he didn’t have good weapons to throw to, I’d say Winston was more than deserving of getting another shot for New Orleans.
As for Allen, yes, he had the failed head coaching stint with the then-Oakland Raiders from 2012-2014 and it didn’t end well. A lot of time has passed since then, however, and when he filled in for Payton in the Sunday night game, his squad won 9-0. Obviously coaching for an entire season is a different ball game but it’s silly to take his previous stint as a head coach as the main reason why he won’t succeed in New Orleans.
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Winston might not be a top-tier quarterback and Allen is an inexperienced head coach but the rest of the roster is stacked and that’s reason enough to believe in the 2022 New Orleans Saints.