Dennis Allen is entering his eighth season with the New Orleans Saints and his second as their head coach. Coming off a 7-10 campaign, there's some pressure on Allen but he's been able to address some of the concerns with the roster — which should help.
The most important move of the offseason was adding Derek Carr. With a veteran quarterback they believe can improve the offense, New Orleans has high expectations in 2023.
Looking ahead to the regular season, we focus on Allen and identify three of his strengths and two of his weaknesses that will come into play this year.
Strength: He has the trust of his players
When Sean Payton walked away from the Saints, there was a decision that needed to be made. Did they want to completely overhaul the coaching staff and start over, or promote from within and allow continuity to continue?
In the end, they decided to go with the familiar as they promoted Allen from defensive coordinator to head coach. General manager Mickey Loomis said the primary reason he made the move was the way the players responded to Allen, citing the success they've had with him.
"First of all he's a great coach, and he's been a part of our building for a long time," Loomis said via Mike Triplett of ESPN. "He's been part of building the culture and he's been part of the success we've had over the years. And he's got experience as a head coach as well."
New Orleans finished in the top five in points surrendered in 2020 and 2021, which is why the GM believed in him. But more importantly, it's why his players trust him. They know that he understands how to put them in a position to succeed, and that goes a long way.