January 11, 2006

Saints Book Interviews All Week Long: Mix of veterans, inexperienced potential come in back-to-back this week

Its the middle of interview week at Saints camp. GM Mickey Loomis has been as busy as he has ever been, hosting a new candidate each day since Monday.

Jets DC Donnie Henderson's interview on Monday went well, and Browns OC Maurice Carthon's was even better. Current clubhouse leader Sean Payton's interview today went extremely well and will finish up tonight and through Thursday morning.

Thursday the Saints will host former Packers coach Mike Sherman and Friday, former Rams coach Mike Martz will interview. Click here for NOPF's exclusive breakdown of each candidate.

The Saints may not interview any more candidates past the first five, and could choose from this pool of five. There may be another interview, possibly with Steelers assistant Russ Grimm, but that is not confirmed.

The Saints have backed off of former Giants head coach and current Ravens OC Jim Fassell since Mike Sherman was fired, a move that got the Saints' attention.

The team will face a choice between a safe veteran in Sherman, a risky personality like Mike Martz, or put a young gamble in his first head coaching job, at this point likely Payton.

What do some of the players think? Well, not all are at camp and fewer are speaking to the media. WR Joe Horn said he would come to training camp in February if Mike Martz was hired and, for obvious reasons, other offensive players are in favor of the former offensive guru of the Rams.

The new head coach will determine who, if anyone, from Haslett's staff will stay. For the meantime, all the coordinators and assistants are busy and working on film. Except for cornerbacks coach Greg Brown, the rest of the coaching staff are still employed, pending evaluation from the new head coach.

Saints owner Tom Benson said today that they are looking for a leader in the head coach search. That speaks volumes of the remaining opinion of the Saints' former head coach and a telling sign of what had become Haslett's locker room.

Meanwhile, in other news. former Saints offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy, unceremoniously allowed to leave last offseason after his contract expired, has been hired away from his 49ers coordinator job for the head position with the Packers. McCarthy certainly fits the West Coast offensive expert mold for the Packers.

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