Dennis Allen to coach against Liam Coen, his former target for Saints OC

Dennis Allen knew that the New Orleans Saints offense needed new life when he was hired as head coach back in 2022 — it’s why he interviewed external candidates before circling back to Pete Carmichael and naming him their play caller. But one of those offensive coordinator candidates Allen pursued is going to be coaching against him.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have “zeroed in on” Kentucky offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Liam Coen to replace Dave Canales (who was hired as the new Carolina Panthers head coach). A former Los Angeles Rams assistant who worked with Baker Mayfield in 2022, the hope in Tampa is that Coen can maintain the success Mayfield found last season.

And Coen was someone hot on Allen’s radar a couple years back. Coen ultimately stayed where he was comfortable (he’s gone back and forth from Kentucky to the Rams three times in three years), and his return to the NFL is still based around familiarity. We’ll see if his offense was all it’s made out to be.

So where does this leave the league’s search for new offensive coordinators? Just three teams, maybe four, are still in the hunt for a new play caller: the Saints, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Los Angeles Chargers — though the Washington Commanders have not decided whether Eric Bieniemy is part of head coach Dan Quinn’s plans. If Bieniemy is on the outs, that’s four landing spots for candidates to consider.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire