Former Saints great defensive coordinator passes away

Steve Sidwell, New Orleans Saints
Steve Sidwell, New Orleans Saints / Joseph Patronite/GettyImages

A defensive coordinator who oversaw maybe the greatest defense the New Orleans Saints ever had has passed away. It's no doubt a sad loss for the Saints family.

Quite possibly the greatest defense the New Orleans Saints have ever had was the era of the Dome Patrol. During the mid-to-late 1980s to the early 1990s, the Saints had four Pro Bowl linebackers on their defense in Vaughn Johnson, Pat Swilling, and Hall of Famers Ricky Jackson and Sam Mills. During the 1992 season, they became the only unit to date to have four linebackers all voted to the Pro Bowl in the same season. It is a feat that has never been repeated. Often replicated, but never duplicated.

Jim Mora was of course the head coach of those great Saints teams, with their 1987 season being the first playoff season in franchise history, and the man running the show on the defensive side of the ball was defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell. On friday, the Saints announced via social media that Sidwell has unfortunately passed away at the age of 78.

While the linebackers and other key players like Wayne Martin and Dave Waymer no doubt played a role in the dominance of the Dome Patrol defense, it was Sidwell's leadership that pushed them over the top. Sidwell served as the defensive coordinator of the Saints from 1986 through 1994, so essentially the enitre era of the Dome Patrol.

After leaving the Saints, he would be the defensive coordinator of the Houston Oilers, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks before retiring after the 2002 season.

This is without a doubt a sad day for the entire family of the New Orleans Saints, and of course the family of Sidwell. All of us here are giving all of our thoughts to the family and friends of Steve Sidwell.