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Ranking the top 8 Saints coaching candidates to replace Sean Payton

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Ranking the top 8 Saints coaching candidates to replace Sean Payton

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The Saints will enter the 2022 NFL season with a new head coach. Sean Payton decided to leave the team at 58, leaving New Orleans in need of a replacement. The franchise becomes the ninth team seeking a new full-time leader earlier this year.

Payton, in 15 seasons, went 152-89 in 241 games at New Orleans. That’s minus the league’s one-year “Bountygate” suspension in 2012. He took the Saints to the playoffs nine times, all with now-retired Drew Brees as the starting quarterback. He had nine more playoff victories, including Super Bowl 44 against the Colts.

MORE: Why is Sean Payton “walking away?”

Like Brees, it will be difficult for the Saints to replace him. The new coach will also inherit a bad salary cap situation and face a big rebuilding change after Brees.

Here are the top eight candidates for New Orleans officials to consider late in the process.

Ranking potential Sean Payton replacements for the Saints

Kellen Moore, Cowboys offensive coordinator (age: 33)

The Saints snatched Payton from Jerry Jones, who probably still regrets it considering Payton developed a consistent winner and got a ring. Although Payton was older when he was Dallas’ successful offensive coordinator under Bill Parcells, Moore has similar attributes with great game sense. He’s ready to lead an entire team despite his age.

(Getty Images)

Dennis Allen, Saints defensive coordinator (age: 49)

Allen last coached the NFL with the Raiders in 2014. He had three decent seasons with that organization. He’s done a terrific job in charge of the Saints’ defense since 2015, replacing the disaster left behind by Rob Ryan. He has great respect from current players, and the Saints can focus on securing the right offensive coordinator with whoever is at QB, between Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, a first draft pick or a marquee free agent. .

Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator (age: 52)

Bieniemy was born in New Orleans before playing running back in high school in California and the University of Colorado. His current gig continues to be Andy Reid’s right-hand man raising the game and plotting for Patrick Mahomes. His resume is loaded and he’s late for work.

Brian Flores, former Dolphins head coach (age: 40)

Flores would be the best defensive option outside of the organization. He was heading for a bright future in Miami before he was recklessly cut short. He would also stress the importance of a top franchise QB and be indifferent to offensive changes.

Ranking the top 8 Saints coaching candidates to replace Sean Payton

 |  Latest News Headlines
(Getty Images)

Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator (age: 46)

Daboll is available after Bieniemy and the Chiefs offense has outlasted his. The Canadian is ready for a bigger gig after his smashing work with Josh Allen. The trick will be to find another great all-around QB talent.

Mike McDaniel, 49ers offensive coordinator (age: 38)

The 49ers staff under Kyle Shanahan have playoffs themselves. McDaniel learned well under Shanahan and the Yale product is brilliant and can be well organized to lead a team, much like Moore. The Saints should also think about their defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans.

Kevin O’Connell, Rams offensive coordinator (age: 36)

O’Connell file with McDaniel and Moore. Sean McVay’s practice tree hires are no longer a joke, considering what Zac Taylor has done with the Bengals and Brandon Staley can do with the Chargers.

Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers offensive coordinator (age: 42)

Leftwich is the name of a division rival to watch. He may want to stay if Tom Brady does, knowing he may soon become Bruce Arians’ successor. But the Saints need to do their due diligence to maybe give him another shot in the NFC South.

Ranking the top 8 Saints coaching candidates to replace Sean Payton

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