Likely to return as head coach, Dennis Allen addresses Saints primary issues

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It is likely that Dennis Allen will get a second season as head coach of the New Orleans Saints.

At his year-end press conference Monday, Allen said the indication he has been given is that he will remain as head coach.

Allen said he has had preliminary discussions with general manager Mickey Loomis about the evaluation process, which he referred to as the “deep dive” that is forthcoming to examine the team as it currently exists.

Allen admitted that a 7-10 record is simply not good enough but added that he feels the Saints are not far off from being a winner.

With the recent news breaking about the renegotiation of the contract of Michael Thomas, Allen said no final decisions have been made yet about the future of the oft-injured wide receiver with the franchise. Allen did add that he felt his team did not have a contested pass catcher, something Thomas always brought to the table and something Jarvis Landry has the ability to deliver as well. Landry played in just nine games, sometimes at far less than 100 percent, while Thomas played in just three games and has played in just 10 games total in the last three seasons after not missing a game from 2017-19, when he set records.

While Allen’s defense was among the best in the NFL in the second half of the season, the offense floundered, simply making too many mistakes and not scoring enough points. Allen was non-committal about any staff changes but said evaluations will take place and the priority is to get the decisions right as opposed to operating with a timetable to make those important decisions.

When addressing offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael specifically, Allen did not exactly provide a vote of confidence for the veteran offensive coach, saying that evaluation has not taken place yet but that it will be looked at shortly and there would be a plan moving forward.

On the injury front, rookie first-round pick Trevor Penning got his first NFL start at left tackle, was having a promising game but went down injured in the second half. Allen said Penning suffered a Lisfranc injury to his right foot which will require surgery. While Allen did not provide a timetable for recovery, the expectation is that type of injury typically requires five to six month to heal properly. Penning previously missed time with an injury to his left foot which he suffered in the preseason.

The other over-arching question surrounding the future of the Saints is who will the quarterback be in 2022?

Andy Dalton started 14 games, posting a 6-8 record. Dalton completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 2,871 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions for a quarterback rating of 98.2.

Jameis Winston started three games, posting a 1-2 record. Winston completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 858 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions for a quarterback rating of 79.5.

Winston never got a chance to play again after the first three games of the season.

Allen said initially that the decision to switch to Dalton was about injuries to Dalton and as time went on, Allen said he felt Dalton gave the Saints a better opportunity to win, based on a full evaluation with everything taken into account.

The Saints finished 19th in the NFL in total offense at 333.8 yards per game and 22nd in scoring offense, averaging 19.4 points per game.

The Saints finished sixth in the league in total defense, allowing just 314.8 yards per game and ninth in scoring defense, allowing 20.3 points per game.

New Orleans finished second to last in the league in turnover margin, finishing minus 11 in that department and New Orleans was 12th in the league in penalties with 99 for 841 yards.

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Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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