HomeTrade RumorsIs Saints Head Coach Dennis Allen on the Hot Seat?

Is Saints Head Coach Dennis Allen on the Hot Seat?

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The Saints posted a comfortable win over the Panthers on Sunday, but the 2023 season has not gone according to plan. New Orleans sits at 6-7 on the year, a mark which has the team in contention to win the NFC South. Nevertheless, significant changes could be coming in the offseason.

Head coach Dennis Allen could be replaced this offseason, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post writes. In the event a coaching change takes place, he adds, a replacement with an offensive background would be sought out. Allen had defensive coordinator experience prior to his time at the helm of the Raiders, which was then followed by a lengthy stint on that side of the ball before his promotion to head coach of the Saints.

The 51-year-old went just 8-28 in a two-plus year run with the Raiders, and his second opportunity as a head coach has not produced a strong showing in the win-loss department. The Saints went 7-10 in 2022, the first season of the post-Sean Payton era. After seven years as defensive coordinator, Allen was tapped as Payton’s successor. A strong defensive showing ensued, but the team’s offense struggled. Similar issues have emerged in 2023.

The Saints gave Allen a vote of confidence this offseason, so it came as little surprise that he was retained in the winter. It became clear a quarterback addition was needed, though, which led to the signing of Derek Carr after the end to his Raiders tenure. The three-time Pro Bowler landed a four-year, $150MM deal from New Orleans, leading to increased expectations for team and player. The Saints have not managed to find consistent success on the ground or through the air, however, leading to middling rankings in several offensive categories.

Carr has dealt with a number of injuries this season, and he has found himself in concussion protocol twice in his debut Saints campaign. Still, this season’s mediocre run has Allen’s New Orleans HC record sitting at 13-17. A postseason berth is still very much within reach as the team jockeys with the Falcons and Buccaneers, but missing the playoffs again would no doubt increase speculation about Allen’s job security.

Notably, La Canfora adds the Saints will be a team to watch at the QB spot in April’s draft. Carr’s deal includes guaranteed salaries of $30MM in 2024 and 2025 (in the latter case, the compensation kicks in on March 17 of that year). Carr’s struggles could lead New Orleans to explore one of the many signal-callers expected to hear their names called on Day 1 of a draft headlined by Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. Given the financial commitments to Carr, adding a rookie quarterback would certainly create an interesting situation at the position.

Time still remains for Allen and the Saints to show improvement down the stretch. In the absence of a notable rebound from poor showings earlier in the year, however, New Orleans will be a team to monitor in the lead-in to the 2024 head coaching cycle.

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