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Saints to hire defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as new head coach

Saints to hire defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as new head coach
New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen (L), shown Dec. 6, 2015, will replace former Saints head coach Sean Payton (R), who stepped away from the franchise two weeks ago. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is expected to replace Sean Payton as the franchise's next head coach.

League sources told ESPN, NFL Media and the Times-Picayune on Monday that Saints officials informed Allen that he will be promoted to head coach. Allen will replace his longtime boss, Sean Payton, who stepped away from the franchise two weeks ago.

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This will be Allen's second stint as an NFL head coach after he posted an 8-28 record as coach of the then-Oakland Raiders from 2012-14.

The Saints also interviewed former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Saints special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi for their head-coaching vacancy, according to reports.

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Allen was considered the top candidate for the position due to his success as the Saints' defensive coordinator, according to ESPN. The team also wanted to prevent a massive overhaul this off-season.

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"Those eight teams that let go of head coaches, I think their situations are different than ours," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said before the team's coaching search. "We had our coach retire with a lot of really good things in place already.

"That doesn't mean that it can't be improved and built upon. But ... we don't see it as a wholesale culture change, roster change, anything like that."

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Allen became the Saints' defensive coordinator in 2015 after Rob Ryan was fired, and he has held that role ever since. Over the past three seasons, the Saints ranked fourth in the league in both yards allowed and points allowed.

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