Much of the attention over the past few days has surrounded the future of Sean Payton with the New Orleans Saints. Fortunately, that's been figured out and the Saints still have their head coach, and he won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Now, something that may be getting just a bit overlooked though, is the defensive coordinator role. When the team parted ways with Rob Ryan during the season, Dennis Allen was handed the keys at that point. Allen helped lead the Saints to improvements over time on the defensive side of the ball, but there are obviously still issues that need to be worked out.
The question is, will Allen return as the defensive coordinator in 2016? It seems likely, if you ask Payton himself.
"I'm going to visit with Dennis specifically and I think that in all likelihood that will be the case," Payton said. "It's just a little bit ahead of the game. I just spent 10 minutes with the staff.
"He was real good coming in in a tough position. I thought he was organized, detailed. I think there are a few pieces that we have to help him with that can help our team and I think being charge of it for the course of the offseason (will help). There were a lot of good things he did."
Underhill does point out the direct statistical impact that Allen made, which featured the overall yardage per game allowed decreasing by 28.1 yards, and the points per game dropping from 31.5 to 26.8 when the move from Ryan to Allen was made.
Those numbers may not seem huge, but the points per game specifically are more than worth noting. It seems as though Allen will likely get another year to help mold this defensive unit.