The main change for Dennis Allen, as he attends his first NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis as head coach of the New Orleans Saints instead of as defensive coordinator, is that the micro view has become a macro view.
"I'm watching all the offensive guys," he said with a smile on Friday. "I think that's probably been the biggest difference. It's been a good experience, it's been just getting used to seeing these guys and this is really our first experience with these guys as coaches. It's kind of the beginning of the process for us."
But other than Allen, who rejoined the Saints as senior defensive assistant before assuming the position of defensive coordinator later that season through the end of 2021, much of what the Saints' coaching staff has done has been familiar because much of the staff remains familiar.
The significant changes were at offensive line and receivers coach, where Doug Marrone and Kodi Burns were added. Marrone also previously was on the Saints' staff under Coach Sean Payton; he was Payton's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 2006-08. But the majority of coaches on staff for the upcoming season also were on staff last season.
"I think it's been good," Allen said. "I think the good thing for us is that we're able to keep a lot of continuity, there hasn't been a lot of changeover and so I think that's been a good experience for us."
New Orleans's staff has spent the week in Indianapolis in the introductory phase with draft-eligible prospects, a process that NFL teams were not able to partake of last year when the Combine was canceled due to Covid-19 concerns.
"The big thing is just to get a baseline view of each of these prospects," Allen said. "This is a long process that we go through and really for us as a coaching staff it's kind of the first building block in the process."
Photos from the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, March 4th ahead of this year's NFL Draft.