Following Sean Payton stepping down as the New Orleans Saints coach after 15 seasons, general manager Mickey Loomis is tasked with finding the next great leader in the Bayou.
The GM said he's not worried about getting a late start in his coaching search compared to the eight other clubs with openings.
"Obviously, you want to move the process around as quickly as possible, and yet, it's more important to get it right than it is to be quick," Loomis said Friday. "And we're going to be diligent about that."
Loomis said the club is in a better spot than when it hired Payton in 2006 following five straight non-playoff seasons and just one postseason appearance in the previous 13 years.
"We don't see it as a wholesale culture change, roster change, anything like that," Loomis said. "We got a lot of good things here. It doesn't mean that it can't be improved and built upon, but as Sean said in his press conference, he's leaving with the franchise in a much better place than when he got here."
The next coach will manage a club without an obvious answer at quarterback and one still digging out of a salary cap hole. Still, there are valuable pieces like a lock-down defense and star running back Amara Kamara to keep the Saints competitive.
One of the obvious candidates for the newly opened head coaching position in New Orleans is defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who has spent the past seven seasons as the Saints DC after just over two seasons as head coach in Oakland.
"He's qualified, he has experience, he understands our culture here," Loomis said of Allen. "We just know a lot about him. He's an excellent candidate."
It's not a shoo-in that Allen steps into the top role. The Saints also have requested interviews with Lions DC Aaron Glenn (who previously worked on Payton's staff) and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.