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Meet the New Orleans Saints coaches: Michael Hodges

Hodges is entering his seventh season with the Black & Gold


The New Orleans Saints hired Michael Hodges during the 2017 offseason to serve as a defensive assistant. Hodges was promoted to assistant linebackers coach in 2019 and now enters his fourth season as linebackers coach.

In 2022, Demario Davis was again one of the Saints' most productive defensive players. He led the team for the fifth consecutive season in tackles (109) and set a career-high with 6.5 sacks, leading all inside linebackers in the NFL. Davis was selected to the Pro Bowl Games for the first time and as an Associated Press second-team All-Pro. Second-year pro Pete Werner started 11 of the 12 games in which he played and contributed 79 tackles (55 solo) and two forced fumbles. Fourth-year linebacker Kaden Elliss enjoyed a breakthrough campaign under Hodges' tutelage, starting 11 of the 17 games he appeared in and posted 74 tackles with seven sacks to lead the position group and rank second on the team and two forced fumbles.

Under Hodges' guidance in 2021, Davis led the team with 105 tackles (70 solo), three sacks and seven passes defensed as he was selected as an AP second-team All-Pro. Kwon Alexander filled the stat sheet with 50 stops, 3.5 sacks, an interception, two passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Werner, a second round pick, finished with 59 tackles, while starting 8-of-15 games in his first professional season.

In his first season as linebackers coach, Hodges oversaw a position group where Davis posted a team-leading 119 tackles, four sacks and six passes defensed as he was selected as an AP second-team All-Pro. Alexander was able to carve out a role in the defense following a midseason trade, starting all eight games he played in, tying for the team lead with two fumble recoveries.

In 2019, Hodges' assistance with the linebackers featured solid production from the position group. Davis was selected as an AP first-team All-Pro, leading the team with 111 tackles, four sacks, one interception and a career-high 11 passes defensed.

Hodges arrived in New Orleans after serving on the coaching staff at Eastern Illinois from 2014-16. From 2014-15, Hodges tutored linebackers. In 2016, he was elevated to co-defensive coordinator, also coaching the safeties. Hodges came to EIU after serving two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at Fresno State, where he coached inside linebackers and assisted with film breakdown, scouting and game preparation.

Hodges played linebacker at Texas A&M where he earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior when he led the Aggies in tackles and honorable mention as a junior after beginning as a walk-on. He was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and was named a first-team Academic All-American in 2010. He graduated in 2010 and earned his master's in 2011. He was presented with the 2010 Heart Award, which is the highest honor for a Texas A&M senior football player.

PLAYING CAREER: Texas A&M, 2008-11.

Michael Hodges coaching career

Table inside Article
Team Position Held Years
Texas A&M (College) Strength & Conditioning Assistant 2011
Fresno State (College) Graduate Assistant 2012-13
Eastern Illinois (College) Linebackers Coach 2014-15
Eastern Illinois (College) Co-Defensive Coordinator & Safeties Coach 2016
New Orleans Saints (NFL) Defensive Assistant 2017-18
New Orleans Saints (NFL) Assistant Linebackers Coach 2019
New Orleans Saints (NFL) Linebackers Coach 2020-present

New Orleans Saints rookies for the upcoming 2023 NFL season tour the city of New Orleans for the second time as they enjoy some down time ahead of Saints Training Camp.

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