Eleven days after John Fox was announced as the new head coach of the Denver Broncos, the team has found a defensive coordinator. Yesterday, FoxSports reported that Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen has been hired by the team to take over the position previously held by Don 'Wink' Martindale.
It seems like the Broncos awaited the result of the NFC Championship game between the Bears and the Packers before deciding on hiring Allen. Had the Packers lost, the team would have likely asked for permission to interview defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, who previously worked with Fox in Carolina.
However, Trgovac had publicly stated that, although he'd like to hear what the Broncos had to say, he was unsure about moving with his daughter being a senior in high school and having recently moved from Carolina to Green Bay.
By hiring Allen, the Broncos hope they will finally be able to create some stability at the defensive coordinator position. Allen will be the sixth different defensive coordinator in as many seasons. Having a defensive minded head coach in John Fox will also help in this regard, but the turn over at the coordinator position can be attributed as one of the reasons for the defensive struggles that the Broncos have been going through in recent years.
In Allen (38), the Broncos seem to have found one of the bright, young and upcoming coaches in the league. After Allen interviewed with both the Eagles and the Broncos this offseason, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Peyton told the New Orleans Times Picayune:
"It's a small league, and there aren't many secrets. His reputation has grown, and the word has gotten around. You can see it on film. He's extremely talented, and another thing about him, he's an extremely hard-working guy. He's a guy that's going to have more of these opportunities down the line. Dennis has been one of those 'Day 1' guys from when we got here in '06. And his role each year has encompassed more and more."
Similarly, Adam Caplan tweeted the following remarks on Dennis Allen over the weekend, before he was officially hired by the Broncos:
I spoke to several scouting sources over the last 48 hours or so about Dennis Allen, very impressed with what I'm hearing. Good leadership skills, players really like him/respect him, good teacher
Allen joined the Saints in 2006 as an assistant defensive line coach, the first year of Sean Peyton's tenure as the head coach of the team. After two years in that role, he became the defensive backs coach for a secondary that would rank as one of the best in the NFL since that time.
Allen, who played safety at Texas A&M, was an undrafted free agent signed by the Buffalo Bills in 1996. He competed in training camp but never played in the NFL. Before joining the Saints, he coached the secondary as a graduate assistant at his alma mater Texas A&M from 1996 to 1999. He then moved to Tulsa to becoming their secondary coach for two seasons. In 2002, Allen joined the Atlanta Falcons, where he was first involved with the secondary before moving to defensive line.
With the hiring of Allen, the only positions that remain to be filled are those of defensive backs coach and linebackers coach. Don 'Wink' Martindale could move back to his old position coaching linebackers, but at this time it seems more likely that he will move on to a new opportunity.