The New Orleans Saints fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo this week and the team must fill the void. As expected head coach Sean Payton already had someone in mind. So far this off-season Payton has wasted no time in getting back to work and is looking to fill the defensive coordinator position sooner rather than later.
It is rumored that the Saints are very interested in former Kansas City Chiefs head coach, Romeo Crennel and former New York Jets coach, Eric Mangini. The Saints are reportedly more interested in Crennel but would like to have both coaches on their staff.
Hiring Crennel would be a great move for the Saints because they really could use an experienced defensive mind on their roster. The Saints had the worst defense in NFL history last season when they gave up a record 7,042 yards of offense. Crennel did not have much success as a head coach but is a proven defensive coach.
Crennel was on the New England Patriots’ coaching staff up until 2004 when the team had already won their last three Super Bowls. Furthermore, Mangini was on the same staff as Crennel during the same time period so both coaches could potentially come in and help the Saints’ defense.
There is also the Bill Parcells connection that could influence the potential hiring of Crennel. Crennel worked under Bill Belichick, a Parcells protégé, in New England so Payton would be comfortable with his coaching philosophy. Payton is also a Parcells protégé as he worked under the legendary coach during his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Saints are in desperate need of a good defensive coordinator and Crennel might fit the bill for the team. If the Saints hire Crennel it would be one less thing for Payton to worry about. In addition to filling the defensive coordinator position Payton needs to find replacements for former offensive line coach, Aaron Kromer and former special teams assistant, Mike Mallory.
Payton clearly wants Crennel so I would expect this rumor to turn into a reality in the next week or so. Once the Saints have a defensive coordinator they can start rebuilding their horrible defense. The Saints will shift to a 3-4 alignment and that should be a seamless transition for Crennel, if he is the candidate hired.
Alejandro Aviles is the Featured Writer for the New Orleans Saints at Rant Sports @aaviles312