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Dennis Allen Leaves Saints

Saints defensive backs coach Dennis Allen leaves New Orleans to take the defensive coordinator job for the Denver Broncos. Jeff Duncan of the Times Picayune has more.

“I’m excited,” Allen said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me.”

You could feel Allen’s anticipation and energy as he addressed reporters on a blustery, gray afternoon in the windswept concourse of Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

His life had changed unalterably in the past few days.

A week ago he was about to embark on a bike ride with wife, Alisson, near their home in Mandeville when he took a call that changed his life.

Saints Coach Sean Payton was on the line. Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid had called to ask permission to interview Allen for his club’s vacant defensive coordinator position. A day later new Broncos coach John Fox called Payton to ask the same.

New Orleans will miss Allen. He proved his value the last two years, by turning a weakness of the Saints, into one of its strengths. Allen oversaw a secondary in 2009 that intercepted 26 passes on their way to a Super Bowl championship. In 2010, the secondary finished the season ranked fourth in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Taking some of the lessons he learned from Gregg Williams, Allen will have continued success in the mile-high city.

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