New Year, Same Story: Dennis Allen Should Still Be Fired
In the immortal words of Zoolander antagonist Jacobim Mugatu, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
How many times do I, and many other Saints fans and pundits, have to say it? How many times do we have to see our beloved Bless You Boys play well for one drive, quarter or half, only to squander games with conservative, nut-less coaching in the second half? How many more seasons of torture must we endure before we can watch Saints football with something resembling hope? Not winning – just the prospect of it.
I’ll say it again. Dennis Allen should be fired. Not next season, not in two seasons, but now.
I’ve written this before (three times, in fact), and I’ll write it again – the Saints have been an undeniably bad football team since their week three loss to the Panthers, and they were never good to begin with. They stunk from the opening kickoff in Atlanta to their final big boy pants dump in the Dome against Carolina.
The same stupid mistakes and conservative decision-making plagued them all season. As astutely pointed out by my Black and Gold B.S. co-host Sean Haspel, Dennis Allen simply does not have it in him to be a head coach. He is an excellent defensive coordinator and seems to be well-liked by players and the front office – but he does not have the genius, the “it” factor, what the French call a certain “I don’t know what” – needed to be a head coach.
DA played for overtime in the team’s 10-7 loss to the Panthers, a game with zero playoff implications. Even when it didn’t really matter, he refused to gamble. The Saints somehow found a way to lose to a team that had 43 yards passing and two interceptions, one of which came with less than two minutes left in the game.
In their final act of football terrorism, the ’22-‘23 Saints found a way to infuriate us in a meaningless game. After all the noise that DA is going to run it back, plus the 3-game win streak and legitimate division title hopes, I wanted to see this team steamroll the floundering Panthers and send a message that this is the direction the Saints should be headed in. That DA was, in fact, the right coaching hire, and he just needed time to figure things out.
But instead, I returned from the game only to have my metaphorical windows smashed after parking my metaphorical car in the metaphorical surface lot on Poydras.
This loss was a new low. Something needs to change.
Sean Payton wasn’t always perfect, but at least he was accountable after bad seasons and bad losses, and always did everything in his power to course-correct. He and Mickey Loomis were always hunting for the best free agents to fix the defense, and always looking to hire a great mind on the other side of the ball when things didn’t go as planned.
I think it’s fair that we ask Gayle Benson and her shadowy cabal of Saints execs to do the same.
I don’t care about the draft picks the franchise may net in a trade that sends Payton to some lesser franchise. They are meaningless if the coaching staff squanders the development of said players.
After firing DA, Loomis and the Brain Trust should throw everything they have at Payton in order to convince him to return. And if that doesn’t work, start the process of finding a coach that won’t steer the ship directly into an iceberg.
If and when the ship goes down, we need someone who won’t tell a sideline reporter in earnest that the team should keep doing what it’s doing.
Reportedly, DA is well-liked on Airline Drive. Well, if you’re one of those team officials who likes this man, I only have this to say: fuck your feelings.
No one cares about your feelings. No one cares who you like. They care about winning. They care about having hope for the future. At the very least, they care about having fun.
At no point during the 2022 season have the Saints been fun, or inspired hope. They won 7 games, but even in those wins, the turnovers, bad offensive play calling, and dumb penalties plagued them.
Actually, I take that back. In a microcosm of what has happened both within individual games and the season itself as a whole, for a flickering moment, the Saints made us think that maybe DA could turn it around with a three-game winning streak against the Falcons, Browns and NFC-best Eagles. The Eagles game, in particular, was impressive.
But then the rug was pulled out from under us. Against the Panthers on Sunday, the real product from this coaching staff reared its ugly head.
Once again, I ask you all say a prayer to your Buddy D false idol candle that Gayle and Mickey wake up, and read the room.