Dennis Allen and Todd Bowles, the new coaches of New Orleans and Tampa Bay

Dennis Allen: Passing after Sean Payton

Dennis Allen (49) has never played in the NFL. He had tried a training camp in Buffalo in 1996, but failed. His only fact as a player is to have been safety at the University of Texas A&M and to have made an interception which had allowed to beat Texas, the great rival, in 1993. It is within his faculty that ‘Allen started coaching as an assistant when he was just 24 years old.

He landed in the NFL in 2002, first having a career with the defenses of Atlanta and New Orleans – a first time (victory at the Super Bowl in 2010) – before being named defensive coordinator of Denver in 2011, then coach Chief of Oakland a year later. A painful memory, because, in three years, he won only eight matches. But his capital of confidence has not been started, on the side of New Orleans.

Sean Payton, the legendary coach of the Saints, who took the team to its only Super Bowl, entrusted him with the reins of defense in 2015. The two men worked together for seven years, qualifying four times for the team for the playoffs. When Payton retired after 15 years of dedicated service last season, Dennis Allen was named to succeed him.

The Saints are in full overhaul, since, last year, they had played without Drew Brees, their wonderful quarterback, also retired. Last week, Allen gave himself some thrills, for his first outing of the year. Against Atlanta, his team trailed 10-26, before winning 27-26 at the very end of the match.

Todd Bowles.  (G.Walker/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

Todd Bowles. (G.Walker/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

Todd Bowles: the pupil succeeds the master

Replacing Bruce Arians (retired), the coach who guided Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl in 2021: the mission given to Todd Bowles (58) is difficult. He will try to do as well as the one who accompanied part of his career. Arians and Bowles met in the mid-1980s at Temple University, where the first coached the second.

Todd Bowles then played eight seasons in the NFL, as a safety, mainly in Washington. He has the particularity of having been champion three times, in three different functions. As a player in 1988, as a player adviser in Green Bay in 1996 and finally as defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay two seasons ago, with Bruce Arians. Because the two men found themselves in the NFL.

In 2013, Bowles had agreed to be the defense boss of the Arizona Cardinals, which his mentor led. Feeling grow wings, he then became the coach of the New York Jets. Without success. Arians called on him again in 2019, to take care of the defense of Tampa Bay. Together they built the team that smashed Kansas City (31-9) in the Finals. The defensive system put in place by Bowles prevented the Chiefs of Patrick Mahomes from registering the slightest touchdown.

Today, despite a few fewer players (Gronkowski, Pierre-Paul, Suh), Todd Bowles has a good squad, especially with the legendary Tom Brady. Last Sunday, the « Buccs » began their season with a victory against Dallas (19-3). But, against the Saints, they remain on seven defeats in a row.

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