January 20, 2011

Teams request permission to interview Saints assistant Allen

UPDATE: Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos have requested permission to interview Saints defensive assistant Dennis Allen, 38, for their vacant defensive coordinator positions.

The Eagles requested permission to interview Allen last night, according to a report from Fox Sports.

Allen has been with the Saints for the entirety of the Sean Payton era, arriving as an assistant line coach on the defensive side before taking over marked improvement in the secondary for the past three seasons.  Under Allen, young stars in the Saints secondary have developed, including Tracy Porter, Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper.

Allen's position has seen all five drafts in the Payton era spend with high picks at the position, something a team doesn't do if they are not confident in a coaching staff's ability to develop those players.  SS Roman Harper, DB Usama Young, CB Tracy Porter, FS Malcolm Jenkins and CB Patrick Robinson, in order, were no lower than 3rd round picks. 

Young but with a wealth of experience, Allen is seen around the league to have gained valuable experience coaching a Super Bowl champion and under the tutelage of Gregg Williams.  Yet Allen has never had experience as a defensive coordinator at any level.

Clearly, to have drawn out-of-nowhere attention from the Eagles, Allen's star is rising.

Before coaching in New Orleans, Allen spent four years as a defensive assistant in Atlanta, and before that as an assistant defensive backs coach at the University of Tulsa and Texas A&M University.

Allen was undrafted and made it to training camp with the Bills in 1996, but his pro career never got going.

The Eagles fired Sean McDermott, who succeeded the legendary Jim Johnson as defensive coordinator in Philadelphia two years ago.  McDermott has since resurfaced as defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.

The Broncos cleaned house, firing head coach Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Don Martindale.  They hired former Panthers head coach John Fox.

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