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Meet the New Orleans Saints coaches: Peter Giunta

Giunta is entering his eighth season with the Saints


Peter Giunta (pronounced GEN-ta) enters his eighth season as a Saints senior defensive assistant. He's a 44-year coaching veteran, including 32 years of experience in the NFL with three Super Bowl championships.

In 2022, Giunta worked with a Saints secondary that contributed to the New Orleans defense being ranked fifth in net yards per game, with a stingy back end responsible for being ranked second in the league in opponent net passing yards per game and being tied for giving up the third-fewest touchdown passes (17) in the league. Giunta worked with veterans, such as safety Tyrann Mathieu, while overseeing the development of second-round pick cornerback Alontae Taylor. Mathieu started every game and posted a career-high 91 tackles and led the Black and Gold with four takeaways. Taylor played in 13 games with nine starts and led the Saints with 11 passes defensed, fourth among NFL rookies.

In 2021, Giunta worked to develop young contributors in the secondary, as well as enhance the performance of veterans. He helped develop third round draft pick Paulson Adebo, who was the only Saints defender to open all 17 contests, while tying for the team lead with three interceptions, second among rookies. Marshon Lattimore continued his improvement with a career-high 19 passes defensed, ranked third in the NFL, while being selected to his fourth Pro Bowl in his first five seasons. New Orleans was tied for sixth in the NFL with 18 interceptions, with 16 of them coming from the secondary. In addition to New Orleans finishing fourth in the NFL in scoring defense (19.7 points per game) and seventh in total defense (318.2 net yards per game), the Saints gave up the third-fewest touchdown passes (20).

In 2020, the secondary contributed to the Saints tying for third in the NFL in takeaways (26), first in interceptions (18), ranked fourth in total defense (310.9 ypg.), and fifth in opponent points per game (21.1) and opponent net passing yards per game (217.0 ypg.). Lattimore posted 62 tackles (52 solo), two interceptions and 11 passes defensed and was selected to his third Pro Bowl.

In 2019, Saints defensive backs recorded nine interceptions, 2.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. Giunta had a helping hand in the growth of fourth-year safety Vonn Bell, who totaled five regular season fumble recoveries – the most in the NFL and added another in the postseason. Bell also led the secondary in tackles (86) for the fourth consecutive season. Safety Marcus Williams led the team with four interceptions. Lattimore became the first Saints cornerback to be selected to two Pro Bowls, leading the team with 14 passes defensed.

In 2018, New Orleans defensive backs recorded 10 interceptions, three sacks, nine forced fumbles and six recoveries. Giunta aided in the continued development of Lattimore, who led the team with five takeaways in the regular season, adding two interceptions in the NFC Divisional playoff win over Philadelphia.

Lattimore enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2017, starting all 13 games he appeared in and leading NFL rookies with a team-high five interceptions and tying for the rookie lead with a club-best 18 passes defensed as he was the youngest Saint (21 years old) ever selected to the Pro Bowl and the franchise's first AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. Safety Kenny Vaccaro filled up the stat sheet with 60 tackles (48 solo), 1.5 sacks, a career-high three interceptions, seven passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

After a four-year playing career as a defensive back and running back at Northeastern (1974-77), Giunta began his coaching career in Massachusetts, where he was an assistant coach at Swampscott High School from 1978-80.

PLAYING CAREER: Northeastern, 1974-77.

Peter Giunta coaching career

Table inside Article
Team Position Held Years
Swampscott (Mass.) (High School) Head coach 1978-80
Penn State (College) Assistant coach 1981-83
Brown (College) Tight ends coach & wide receivers coach 1984-85
Brown (College) Offensive coordinator 1986-87
Lehigh (College) Tight ends coach & wide receivers coach 1988-90
Philadelphia Eagles Defensive backs coach 1991-94
New York Jets Defensive backs coach 1995-96
St. Louis Rams Defensive backs coach 1997
St. Louis Rams Co-defensive coordinator 1989-99
St. Louis Rams Defensive coordinator 2000
Kansas City Chiefs Defensive backs coach 2001-05
New York Giants Defensive backs coach 2006-14
New Orleans Saints Senior defensive assistant 2016-present

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