First Candidates for Saints' Head-Coaching Job Emerge

Devon Platana
The first candidates for the New Orleans Saints head-coaching job have emerged following Sean Payton's shocking retirement.
The first candidates for the New Orleans Saints head-coaching job have emerged following Sean Payton's shocking retirement. / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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The football world was dealt some shocking news earlier this week when Sean Payton announced his retirement from his position as New Orleans Saints head coach. The organization is now left looking for their first new head coach since Payton was hired in 2006.

Ideally, the Saints should have a new head coach before the 2022 NFL Draft in April. ESPN Senior insider Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that the search is now underway and that New Orleans has three candidates on its list already.

Saints Head Coach Rumors

According to Schefter's sources, some known candidates are as follows:

  • Detroit Lions defensive coordinatore Aaron Glenn
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinatore Byron Leftwich
  • Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen

Each of the three candidates is more than qualified for the Saints' opening. A three-time Pro-Bowler when he was a starting cornerback, Glenn isn't a stranger to New Orleans. He served as the team's defensive backs coach from 2016 to 2020 before becoming Detroit's DC this past season.

Meanwhile, Leftwich has been the Buccaneers offensive coordinator since the 2019 NFL season. Tampa Bay has finished with the second-highest-scoring offense in each of the last two years, which is appetizing for a Saints team average eight fewer points for in 2021 than they did in 2020.

It makes sense for the Saints to hire Allen if they want to promote someone within. He's been their defensive coordinator since 2015 and was typically seen as someone who could take over from Payton one day.

This is only the beginning of the interview process, so there's far from a clear direction that the Saints will take. One thing is for sure and that's that the organization will want to find the best candidate who'll take them into the franchise's next era.


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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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