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Published on 05/21/2011 at Sat May 21 20:44.
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Allen seen during a game in 2010.  (Image courtesy of NewOrleansSaints.com)

Allen seen during a game in 2010. (Image courtesy of NewOrleansSaints.com)

Following their dismal 2010 season, the Denver Broncos starting rebuilding — from top to bottom.  It began with the hiring of new Head Coach John Fox and firing of defensive coordinator Don Martindale.  Fox, known for his stellar defenses, went out and signed New Orleans’ secondary coach Dennis Allen to replace Martindale.

Allen is a well-respected coach across the league and is known as a witty guy who devours game film.  The development of Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, a up and coming player, has often been credited to Allen, who’s secondary recorded 35 interceptions over the past two seasons.

Although New Orleans is just a season-removed from a Super Bowl victory, it appears Allen is not a well-known coach among Denver fans (me included).  For that reason, I got in touch with Andrew Juge of Saints Nation to discuss Allen.  After the jump, I’ve compiled a few notes and tidbits about Allen. 

1.  Allen turned down Philadelphia to come to Denver.

Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid had called the Saints’ Sean Payton a day prior to Fox, both were requesting permission to interview Allen.  Philadelphia is not going through a rebuilding stage on defense and has been more successful in recent years.  Yet, Allen said he chose Denver because it was a better fit, professionally and personally.

2.  The Saints were prepared to promote Allen to defensive coordinator if Gregg Williams (their current DC) signed elsewhere.

According to Juge, Allen was very well thought of in the Saints organization and when Williams was expected to interview for Denver’s head coaching gig, New Orleans was ready to promote Allen as their defensive coordinator should Williams leave.  Many viewed Allen’s promotion as a no brainer.

3. Allen helped New Orleans defense go from ranking 25th in total defense in 2009 to 4th last season.

In 2009, the Saints’ secondary — coached by Allen — recorded 26 interceptions and helped the team to a dominant +11 takeaway to giveaway ratio. Last season, the defense did not record as many turnovers (dropping from 39 in 2009 to 25 in 2010), but they did rank among the top five defenses in the league.

Allen and Williams

September 9, 2010; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams yell from the sideline during first half of the NFL Kickoff season opener against the Minnesota Vikings at the Louisiana Superdome. (Photo by Derick E. Hingle)

4. Allen has coached at every defensive position, including the defensive line.

Allen is a bright, sharp coach, as Fox noted shortly after Denver announced the signing of Allen.   Juge speculates that Allen will follow in William’s footsteps and run a high risk, high reward style of defense which causes a lot of turnovers.  New Orleans ran a 4-3 defense while Allen was with the team, and Denver is planning on using a similar scheme this season.

Coach Fox has said the team will mostly run softer zone coverages (which cornerback Champ Bailey thrives in), while the Saints were an extremely attacking team defensively in 2010 that used mix zones, complex blitzes and double teams, says Juge.  New Orleans ran a lot of blitzes (from all over the field), which creates a need for good man cover corners.  Look for Denver to place players in positions to play to their strengths this season, as the Saints did with their secondary last season.

A players coach, Allen has a superior understanding of the game and big work ethic and according to Juge, ”if Denver’s got smart, young DB’s with promise, Allen will get the most out of them.”  That’s good news for young corners Perrish Cox, Syd’Quan Thompson and Cassius Vaughn, not to mention rookie safeties Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter.

While Fox will most likely have the most influence on defense for the Broncos, Allen will undoubtedly have a big role whenever the next season is.  From what I hear, the Broncos got quite the coach.

  • Masaga91

    man if we have kept nolan or defense with a good draft could been a top 5 by now, stupid josh mcdaniels you're a worthless moron that ruin one of the most respected franchises in the nfl!!!

    i really hope that bailey thrives in allen system and get back to his 5+ interceptions per year

  • jdkchem

    What cave have you been living in?  Keeping Nolan and one good draft would have never made the defense top 5 in one year.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Great post!

  • http://thingsatrexdoes.tumblr.com Mike Birtwistle

    The dog days of a normal reloading season are bad enough – between the Draft and Camp is awful – but its even worse in an off-season which could go on till 2012.

    We need football

  • areferee

    Nolan is well-respected as a DC…and there is always hope.  Don't take that away.

  • areferee

    We still have each other…

    Oh!  Yeah!  I see what you mean!

    :-)

  • Masaga91

    with nolan we were a top 15 defense, and an entire draft for nolan to get the players he wanted would helped a lot

  • CJ

    He might have a good background, but he has to fix literally the worst defense in the NFL

  • Ocbronc

    Thanks Jon. Nice to see an article with some solid insight. Sorry Masaga had to take a break from the DP and be the first to post.

    Allen has a great reputation and I am looking forward to some serious improvement. Doom and Von Miller will be so much fun to watch wreak havoc on the QB. And if Goody is healthy again, he and Champ will have a field day as we are finally able to put pressure on the QB with some fun schemes and give them some pic-6 opportunities!!!

    Of course, I am assuming they fix this CBA mess.

  • Roy

    At this point that looks like a huge assumption.

  • Jack

    Correction: With a pass rush (read: Elvis Dumervil) we were a top 15 defense. 

    It's not like Nolan did especially well last year in Miami.

  • bronco4ever15

    awesome post!!!

  • 5280

    great article.  i know all our defence will have a leg up on the competition with allens knowledge osf how to create turnovers. however, denver needs to let him have a legitimate chance at turning this defence around.  things do not happen over night.

  • TheTroglodyte

    rofl

  • TD30isMVP

    If you are British
    Defense is spelled with a “c”
    AMERICAN “S”

    Haikurection

  • Rcsodak

    Question:
    “credited to Allen, who’s secondary recorded 27 interceptions over the past two seasons.

    “In 2009, the Saints’ secondary — coached by Allen — recorded 26 interceptions”

    So, you're telling us they got a whopping 1 int in 2010?

    Yippee.

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    You raise a good point; It is discouraging that they only recorded one interception last season.  However, there is a bit of an explanation.

    The Saints ran a lot of blitz packages and therefore asked their cornerbacks to play a lot of one-on-one man coverage, putting them on an island and asking them to be shutdown corners like Nnamdi Asomugha and Darrell Revis (who, by-the-way combined for a total of 0 interceptions last season).

    Also, the team was missing ball-hawking safety Darren Sharper for over half the season due to injury.  He led the team with 9 INTs the year prior.

  • Jon

    Correction; NFL.com's stats were flawed, the Saints secondary recorded nine interceptions last season, sorry about the confusion.

    Also, the Saints four starting DB's deflected/broke up at least 38 passes, Denver's deflected/broke up at least 36.

  • TD30isMVP

    Our defense should be ok this year it is our offense that people will no doubt complain about.

  • aasupra
  • areferee

    SHOE!  I mean…  SHOO !

    (WHAM! BAM!  Thank you SPAM!)

  • areferee

    SHOE!  I mean…  SHOO !

    (WHAM! BAM!  Thank you SPAM!)