Saints coach Sean Payton says that he’s in no hurry to make a choice for the team’s new defensive coordinator, but that doesn’t mean the Saints are putting off making a list of people they’d like to talk to about the job.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that two former NFL head coaches are on their list. Per Schefter, the Saints will consider Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini for the position and that “it’s even possible” both could wind up on staff in New Orleans. Mangini told Schefter that he hasn’t been contacted by the Saints about an opening at this point.
Crennel and Mangini have worked together before and both run the 3-4 defense that New Orleans is looking to put in place this offseason. Both men were on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England when the Patriots won three Super Bowls before Crennel moved to Cleveland to become their head coach. Mangini took over as defensive coordinator and then jumped to become the Jets head coach in 2006. Mangini wound up replacing Crennel with the Browns before moving to ESPN and Crennel was fired by the Chiefs on New Year’s Eve.
Payton didn’t work on those Patriots teams, but he did work for Bill Parcells. Crennel was on many Parcells staffs and Mangini worked for him with the Jets, which lends some familiarity to the larger coaching tree even though the Saints coach hasn’t worked with either man in the past.
Neither Crennel nor Mangini been seriously linked to another job so the Saints’ timeline probably wouldn’t keep them from hiring either guy if that winds up being the direction they decide to go.