“I think it was huge, keeping the DNA the same”

“I think it was huge, keeping the DNA the same”

After the conclusion of minicamp this week, the Saints got their first real dose of life without Sean Payton at the helm. New head coach Dennis Allen is receiving positive reviews from Saints players so far.

That’s perhaps no surprise given their familiarity with Allen, which is likely part of the Saints’ reasoning behind promoting their defensive coordinator to head coach. Veteran running back Mark Ingram believes in that approach with New Orleans’ current roster.

“I think it was huge, keeping the DNA the same,” Ingram said, via the team’s website. “It’s not like it’s a complete rebuild here. I think you have a team that can make a lot of noise and get going. Obviously we have to improve and improve and gel in as a unit, but I think keeping the DNA of the team, the culture of the team are the same, I think that’s huge and I think we’ll all benefit from that.”

Ingram, the Saints’ all-time leading runner, didn’t have the opportunity to work directly with Allen during his nine seasons at New Orleans, but the respected veteran’s assessment must be taken into account. Allen, who will remain the Saints DC, promoted Pete Carmichael from QB coach to offensive coordinator and retained most of the staff. Ingram sees the transition as an ideal sequel to Payton.

“Obviously DA is different from Sean. But DA did a great job of trying to keep it as normal as possible and adding its own flavor to it,” Ingram said. “I think the defense are more used to it because they’ve spent so much time with him in defensive meetings. We’ve only seen him sometimes when he had to substitute. But I like him a lot. I think he does a great job with the team, he does a great job in team meetings, he does a great job with us there saying let’s do our job, let’s be efficient, let’s be efficient, let’s improve, work , let’s have a sense of urgency “He’s going to look after us and get us out of the field. I think he did a good job. Just having the same DNA, the same team culture, I think it’s going to be good for everyone in the dressing room. “

A pattern of consistent success, Payton compiled a 152-89 regular-season record as a head coach, posting nine 10-plus seasons (all of which resulted in playoff appearances) while not never missing seven wins and winning seven NFC South titles in his 15 seasons. The Saints’ most successful coach won the franchise’s only Super Bowl title in 2009 and will forever be a famous sports figure in New Orleans.

Allen was there for 12 of those seasons under Payton, but following such a tenure won’t be easy. For better or worse, Allen has experience as a head coach despite his run with the Raiders (8-22 record) which resulted in a mid-season layoff. Serving for the DC Saints for the past seven seasons, Allen has overseen one of the most consistent defenses in the NFL. Going into the 2022 season, the Saints’ defense is expected to be the team’s strongest asset, which is a major factor in the organization’s strategy to promote Allen.

Matching the offensive success of the Payton era will be Allen’s toughest effort. It will also be the most amplified storyline for the Saints 2022. Although he has earned the respect of important team veterans so far, Allen is well aware of the work that remains to be done as he leads New Orleans into a new era.

“I consider, in my mind, it’s a successful offseason, but it’s just an offseason,” Allen said. “We have a lot of work to do between now and the start of the season.

“I certainly felt more comfortable in this role, in this environment, with this organization that has so much experience here. I feel good where I am, I feel good where the staff are. coaches, I feel good where our players are, but not yet satisfied.”

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