Sean Payton is back as the Saints’ head coach, and his first act is to fire his defensive coordinator and reshape his defense.
The Saints have announced that Payton fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and secondary coach Ken Flajole, and that Payton wants to shift to a 3-4 defense.
“I personally want to thank Steve and Ken for their contributions during what was an unprecedented 2012 season,” Payton said in a statement released by the team. “Philosophically we are changing our defense to a 3-4 alignment and right now is the best time to accomplish this transition.”
Spagnuolo replaced Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator a year ago, after Williams left for St. Louis — and before the news broke that the Saints had previously run a bounty program that would result in Payton being suspended for 2012 and Williams being banned indefinitely. Now Payton is back and Spagnuolo is out.