New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton has announced five additions to the team's 2016 coaching staff today; including three former NFL players, one with NFL head coaching experience and one former Saints staff member. He has hired Dan Campbell as assistant head coach/tight ends, Ronald Curry as an offensive assistant, Peter Giunta as senior defensive assistant, Aaron Glenn as secondary coach, and Joe Lombardi as quarterbacks coach. Payton has also made four other coaching staff moves. Dennis Allen will now serve as defensive coordinator, Dan Roushar will serve as offensive line coach, Brian Young will serve as pass rush specialist and Brendan Nugent will serve as an offensive assistant.
Campbell, who served as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins for the final 12 games of the 2015 season and was a member of their coaching staff for six campaigns, returns to New Orleans where he signed as a free agent with the Saints in 2009. Campbell took over a 1-3 Dolphins club that had lost three consecutive games and immediately helped the team win its next two contests and finish 5-7, including a 20-10 win over the New England Patriots in the regular season finale. After he took over interim head coaching duties, Miami improved eight spots in the NFL rushing yards per game rankings with RB Lamar Miller gaining 741 of his 872 yards on the ground and all eight rushing touchdowns, finishing the season with 1,269 total yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns. Five Dolphins were selected to the Pro Bowl. QB Ryan Tannehill became the first Dolphins signal-caller to pass for at least 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons since Dan Marino (1984-86).
Prior to taking over Miami's interim duties, Campbell had tutored the Dolphins tight ends since 2011, after initially joining the team in 2010 as a coaching intern following the conclusion of his 11-year NFL playing career. In 2014, Campbell's unit was led by Charles Clay who posted 58 receptions for 605 yards and three touchdowns while blocking for Miller's first 1,000 yard season, as the runner and Tannehill combined to become the first duo in team history to produce a 1,000-yard rusher and 4,000-yard passer in the same season. In 2013, under Campbell's watch, Clay finished with 69 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns. He transitioned into coaching following stints with the New York Giants (1999-2002), Dallas (2003-05), Detroit (2006-08) and New Orleans (2009). A third-round selection of the Giants in the 1999 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M, he played in 114 career games with 75 starts and caught 91 passes for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Curry brings 10 years of NFL experience, seven as a player and three as a coach, to New Orleans in 2016 after spending the past three seasons (2013-15) on the staff of the San Francisco 49ers, initially as an offensive assistant and most recently as the teams' wide receivers coach. He originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round selection (253rd overall) of the Oakland Raiders in the 2002 NFL Draft after completing a collegiate career as a dual threat athlete, quarterback and wide receiver, at the University of North Carolina. A standout basketball player as well, Curry spent two seasons as the starting point guard for the Tar Heels basketball team. In seven seasons in Oakland, he played in 76 games with 32 starts and posted career totals of 193 receptions for 2,347 yards with 13 touchdowns.
Giunta (pronounced GEN-ta) brings 34 years of coaching experience to the Saints, the last 24 in the National Football League with three Super Bowl-winning clubs. He spent nine seasons as the secondary/cornerbacks coach of the New York Giants from 2006-14. During his tenure in New York, the Salem, Mass. native was pivotal in the development of cornerbacks who contributed to the Giants winning two Super Bowls. Former LSU standout Corey Webster developed into an eight-year starter under Giunta's watch in New York and recorded 22 interceptions and four fumble recoveries in the regular season and postseason, including recording three takeaways in the 2007 playoffs on the way to a Super Bowl title. CB Aaron Ross, the club's first round draft pick in 2007, was inserted into the starting lineup midway through his rookie campaign and he delivered with three interceptions, including returning one for a touchdown. Ross returned to the starting lineup in 2011 and finished tied for second on the team to Webster (six) with a career-high four picks. More recently, Giunta was instrumental in the development of CB Prince Amukamara, the team's first round draft pick in 2011, who despite missing the last eight games with a biceps injury in 2014, set a career-high with three interceptions through the first eight contests.
Prior to joining the Giants in 2006, he spent five seasons as the defensive backs coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Giunta joined the Chiefs after spending four years (1997-2000) with the St. Louis Rams, including the last three as the club's defensive coordinator. In 1999, Giunta's unit led the NFL in rushing defense, tied for first in sacks, ranked second in interceptions, fourth in scoring defense and sixth in total defense for the Super Bowl XXXIV Champions.
A 15-year NFL veteran with two years of coaching experience, Glenn joins New Orleans after spending the past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns as the assistant secondary coach. While with the Browns, Glenn aided in the development of CBs Joe Haden and Buster Skrine as Cleveland was the only NFL team to have two players with at least 18 passes defensed in 2014. Glenn spent two seasons in the front office of the New York Jets as a pro personnel scout and college area scout before joining the Browns. A first round pick in 1994 out of Texas A&M, Glenn played in 205 career games with 176 starts for New York (1994-2001), Houston (2002-04), Dallas (2005-06), Jacksonville (2007), and New Orleans (2008). Glenn finished his playing career with 661 tackles, 41 interceptions, with six returned for touchdowns, 168 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times.
Lombardi returns to the Saints after spending two seasons with the Detroit Lions as offensive coordinator. In 2014 under his supervision, Detroit's offense gained 5,452 total net yards, which was the eighth-highest total in franchise history. WRs Calvin Johnson (1,077) and Golden Tate (1,331) became only the sixth Lions receiving duo to reach 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. QB Matthew Stafford led the Lions to five victories when trialing or tied in the fourth quarter or overtime as Detroit finished 11-5 and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Prior to joining the Lions, Lombardi spent five seasons with New Orleans as quarterbacks coach and two as an offensive assistant. During that stretch, Saints quarterback Drew Brees enjoyed some of the most prolific seasons in NFL history for a passer and established an NFL-record 54-game streak with at least one touchdown pass from 2009-2012. In the five-season stretch where Lombardi served as quarterbacks coach, Brees completed 2,147-of-3,149 passes (68.2%) for 24,823 yards with 195 touchdowns, 78 interceptions and a 102.1 passer rating. During Lombardi's tenure with the Saints, New Orleans finished ranked first in total offense in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. Lombardi arrived to New Orleans after working for one season with the Atlanta Falcons defensive staff and for four seasons as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Mercyhurst College. Lombardi is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi.
New Orleans Saints 2016 Coaching Staff
HEAD COACH: SEAN PAYTON. Assistants: Dennis Allen (Defensive Coordinator), Charles Byrd (Assistant Strength and Conditioning), Dan Campbell (Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends), Pete Carmichael (Offensive Coordinator), Ronald Curry (Offensive Assistant), Dan Dalrymple (Head Strength and Conditioning), Peter Giunta (Senior Defensive Assistant), Aaron Glenn (Secondary), Bill Johnson (Defensive Line), Stan Kwan (Assistant Special Teams), Joe Lombardi (Quarterbacks), Greg McMahon (Special Teams Coordinator), Jason Mitchell (Director of Coaching Administration), John Morton (Wide Receivers), Brendan Nugent (Offensive Assistant), Dan Roushar (Offensive Line), Joel Thomas (Running Backs), Marcus Ungaro (Defensive Assistant), Joe Vitt (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers), Rob Wenning (Assistant Strength and Conditioning), James Willis (Defensive Assistant/Linebackers), Brian Young (Pass Rush Specialist).
The top Saints celebrations photos of the 2015 season. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)