Found January 24, 2013 on
The Saints Nation:
New Orleans Saints
Sean Payton wasted no time in his first 48 hours back as he fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo just one year into his new job. Less notably, The Saints also fired defensive backs coach Ken Flajoe who was the defensive coordinator of the Rams under Spagnuolo. They were relieved of their duties in tandem, suggesting neither really were the right fit in New Orleans. It also seems clear they are taking the brunt of the blame of the Saints securing the "worst defense in NFL history" title, though Sean Payton added: "Philosophically we are changing our defense to a 3-4 alignment". That's something my friend Marijn has been clamoring for for years, so I know he is salivating at the news. Whereas in year's past I would always contend they didn't have the linebackers/personnel to pull off a 3-4, I think that's changed and the timing for this is actually good. Clearly "Spags" ran a 4-3 system and the Saints didn't have the players to pull off his system that well. The fact of the matter is the Saints do have talent on defense, though, regardless of the season they just had. I do believe a 3-4 system could be a better fit for their best talent.
Well, first of all, they have the interior linebackers for it. Picking up Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne this past offseason improved them in that department. While they aren't quite as thick as you'd ideally need at that position, they both tackle well and it will put less demand on them laterally which is arguably their biggest weakness. In addition, it suggests the Saints are going all in with the development of young budding players Junior Galette and Martez Wilson. Both are highly gifted athletes, but "tweeners" in the 4-3 system. In the 3-4 they could be full time outside linebackers, making them extremely dangerous off the edge blitzing. Don't rule out Roman Harper as a backer in the 3-4 scheme either. Akiem Hicks and Cam Jordan are others that I think will fit the system well on the defensive line. The big question is whether or not they can find a prototypical NT to anchor that middle interior position, which is key to a 3-4 being successful. I'm not sure Bunkley can be that guy. I think Hicks immediately moves to end in a 3-4 scheme, but they need a mammoth NT to anchor this line and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Saints go nose tackle in the 1st round of the draft now, depending on what happens with Jermon Bushrod.
This offseason just got a lot more interesting and a lot more fun. Stay tuned for the new defensive coordinator hire, which I'm sure will happen real soon. As much as I was hoping for Lovie Smith, he runs a 4-3 defense, so he's likely not the right fit given the philosophical change. Thoughts on Spags getting canned?
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NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints have fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after one season — a record-setting year in the wrong way.
New Orleans ranked last in the NFL in total defense and run defense, yielding the most yards (7,042) ever in a single season. The Saints went 7-9 this season and allowed 454 points — only the Tennessee Titans gave up more.
The New Orleans Saints have fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after one season.
New Orleans ranked last in the NFL in total defense and run defense. Head coach Sean Payton, who returned to work this week after a season-long suspension, announced Thursday that Spagnuolo was being released.
Payton also fired special teams coordinator Ken Flajole.
The Saints went 7-9 this...
It’s clear that Saints head coach Sean Payton is back in full blown work mode after sitting out the entire 2012 season due to his bounty gate suspension. Just one day back and he’s levied the axe on defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
As reported by NFL.com the Saints have wasted no time in ‘cleaning house’ dispatching of their secondary coach, Ken Flajole, too. Payton...
The NFL reinstated New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton this week. On his first day back as the Saints head coach, Peyton wasted little time trying to right the ship after a disastrous season. The first order of business for the Saints head coach was the firing of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo replaced former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams last season...
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was recently reinstated by the National Football League, and he hasn’t waited long to make
his presence known. Yesterday Payton and the Saints announced that they were
parting ways with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and switching to a 3-4
"I personally want to thank Steve and Ken for their
contributions during what...
The past two weeks the Saints have locked up head coach Sean Payton with an extension, the NFL reinstated him a few days back, and now he has fired two of their defensive assistants. One of them being defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
When speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Payton stated the move was part of a defensive transition to a 3-4 defense. But in actuality, the 2012...
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton told the media that there was “no way” he was going to coach another team when the NFL rejected the new contract he signed with the Saints last year.
There were rumors that Payton wanted to sign with Dallas if they fired Jason Garrett. Those reports could have been false, but I do believe that Payton only wanted to coach the Saints...
Sean Payton returned to work Wednesday following a nearly yearlong suspension for his role in the Saints' bounty program.
The newly reinstated New Orleans Saints coach watched Senior Bowl practice and planned to meet later in the day with the staff to evaluate a defense that struggled during a 7-9 season and opened with four straight losses. Payton said there's plenty of...
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