The New Orleans Saints have announced several changes to Dennis Allen’s coaching staff in 2022, including the promotion of quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry to passing game coordinator, some shifting responsibilities to others locations and finalized hires of two defensive co-coordinators. Here’s everything you need to know from Wednesday’s news:
Ronald Curry: quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Let’s start with something we haven’t discussed before: Curry steadily rose through the ranks at New Orleans as a positional coach, working with wide receivers in 2019 and 2020 before turning to quarterbacks in 2021. And he will continue to coach quarterbacks. in 2022, but he added passing game coordinator to his responsibilities. Having someone with experience coaching these different job groups in the role makes sense. Expect him to work closely with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael to get the Saints’ offense back on track.
Darren Rizzi: Special Teams Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach
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Rizzi has worked as the Saints’ special teams coordinator since 2019, following a decade-long stint with the Miami Dolphins. And having interviewed for the position of head coach following the sudden resignation of Sean Payton, Rizzi will now work closely with Dennis Allen as assistant head coach. This could give Rizzi some great opportunities to learn on the job and help flesh out his resume during auditions for future league openers, but his primary focus will still be the kicking game.
Doug Marrone: Offensive Line Coach
AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton
Marrone’s return has been reported before, and now it’s been made official. The former Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills head coach worked with the Alabama Crimson Tide offensive line in 2021, and he will have the same responsibilities in New Orleans. This is a critical hire with young draft picks like Cesar Ruiz entering a breakthrough season. Zach Strief will remain the assistant head coach after working with Brendan Nugent last season.
Kodi Burns: wide receivers coach
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Burns’ addition to the Saints only happened recently, but he’s an exciting newcomer who could bring a fresh perspective to what was the team’s worst set of positions in 2021. receiver for the Tennessee Volunteers last season, Burns was heavily involved in the Auburn offense for the previous four years as passing game coordinator, co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach at various times.
Ryan Nielsen: defensive co-coordinator/defensive line
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It was planned, and it’s an interesting development. Nielsen has been a great addition to the coaching staff. The Saints haven’t invested many draft picks or dollars in his defensive tackle rotation, and he’s always coached those players to make an impact. He was a highly decorated position coach in college, and other teams tried to hire him as a defensive coordinator. If the saints weren’t going to promote him, he would probably go to greener pastures. We’ll see if the co-coordinator move works, but there’s a lot to love about inspiring greater collaboration.
Kris Richard: defensive co-coordinator/defensive backs
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And let’s complete the list of changes with the other defensive co-coordinator in New Orleans. Richard has already called plays on defense and taken on heavy responsibilities with different NFL teams. He is overqualified to work as a position coach for the Saints. So by promoting him to share duties with Nielsen, the Saints hope to keep their two talented assistants in a big place to help the team and perhaps put themselves on the map when other teams look for new signings.
What is always the same?
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The biggest item of note on this list is Pete Carmichael, who remains the offensive coordinator after initially choosing to resign. After interviewing several outside candidates, the Saints decided he was still the best candidate for the job and he remains in that role. Here are all the Saints coaches returning from 2021 not listed above:
Pete Carmichael: offensive coordinator
Dan Roushar: tight ends coach/running game coordinator
Joel Thomas: running backs coach
Zach Strief: assistant offensive line coach
Kevin Petry: Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Assistant
Declan Doyle: Offensive Assistant
DJ Williams: Offensive Assistant
Peter Giunta: senior defensive assistant
Michael Hodges: linebackers coach
Cory Robinson: assistant secondary coach
Brian Young: pass rush specialist
Jordan Traylor: defensive assistant