Saints defensive coordinator opens up about challenges of playing Tom Brady
New Orleans Saints’ defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is entering his fifth full season in his second tenure with the team. He was re-hired by Saints coach Sean Payton in 2015 and currently in his 11th overall campaign with the club.
Allen was the brain trust behind a steady New Orleans defense which ranked in the NFL’s top five the past two seasons in sacks. Next season will serve as a challenge for the Saints as they will collide with Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers for divisional supremacy.
Allen shared his opinion on facing the revamped Buccaneers with Sam Shannon of NewOrleansSaints.com:
“I think it’s a challenge for us opening up the season and playing these guys because you really have a couple of things that you’re looking at. There’s the study that we’ve got to do of Tom in New England and the things that he was doing there as well as studying Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich, their offense, their philosophy and then trying to merge those two together to find out or see exactly what we’re going to get to open the season.”
“That’ll be a challenge. That will be difficult for us to deal with, but it is a challenge that we are excited about. I think when you play in the National Football League, there is something about competing at the highest level that excites you. I think we are as competitive of a group as there is and we look forward to the challenge. We understand that it is going to be difficult, but we are excited about the challenge.”
The newest acquisition of Brady along with Rob Gronkowski will propel the Buccaneers to new heights. The rest of the NFC South has also reloaded their squads in hopes to dethrone the Saints. New Orleans also tweaked its defense by adding veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins and rookie linebacker Zack Baun.
The Saints are scheduled to host the new-look Buccaneers in Week 1.