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Meet the 2024 New Orleans Saints coaches: Rick Dennison

Dennison is entering his first season with the Saints


Rick Dennison brings a wealth of offensive experience to the Saints in 2024 as the club's senior offensive assistant. Entering his 28th season of coaching in the NFL, Dennison has been part of 13 playoff appearances, five division titles, and three Super Bowl victories - XXXII, XXXIII and 50.

Dennison has been a part of winning programs, posting a .500 or better record in 20 of his 27 NFL seasons and has been part of 12 seasons of 10+ wins under his belt. His 17 seasons in Denver resulted in three Super Bowl titles, eight playoff appearances, four AFC West titles and eight seasons of 10+ wins while only suffering two losing seasons.

Dennison has coached 18 different Pro Bowl players across seven different positions, including six offensive linemen. Of those six, five made their first Pro Bowl appearance under him, while three made all their trips with him as their coach. In Dennison's time as an offensive line coach and offensive coordinator, his rushing offenses have averaged 2,056 yards a season (128.1 ypg.) and 4.4 yards per carry, while producing 14.8 touchdowns a season.

Dennison served as offensive line coach/run game coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings from 2019-20 and as senior offensive advisor in 2021. In 2019, the 28 sacks (12 fewer than the 40 given up in 2018) that the Vikings surrendered was tied for the fifth-lowest total in the NFL and tied for the eighth-lowest total in franchise history, paving the way for a rushing attack that gained 2,133 yards (sixth-most in the NFL). Blocking behind Dennison's offensive line from 2019-20, RB Dalvin Cook ranked first in the NFC and second in the NFL in both rushing yards (3,851) and rushing touchdowns (35) and was selected to the Pro Bowl both seasons. In 2019, Cook (1,135) became the franchise's first 1,000-yard rusher since Adrian Peterson in 2015. Cook's 1,557 rushing yards in 2020 ranked second in the NFL and produced a balanced offensive attack that ranked fourth in the league in net yards per game. The #4 ranking in total offense was a 12-spot jump from 2018 and the highest ranking for the club since 2004.

Prior to joining the Vikings, Dennison served on the staffs of the New York Jets (2018), Buffalo Bills (2017), Baltimore Ravens (2014), Houston Texans (2010-13) and two stints with the Denver Broncos (1995-2009, '15-16) in a variety of roles.

In 2018, Dennison's lone season as the Jets offensive line coach/run game coordinator, the group allowed ten fewer sacks (37) than it did in 2017, protecting QB Sam Darnold as he set team rookie records for touchdown passes (17) and gross passing yards per game (220.4)

In 2017, Dennison was offensive coordinator for the Bills, helping a Buffalo offense that ranked sixth in rushing as both RB LeSean McCoy and G Richie Incognito received Pro Bowl recognition.

In his return to Denver as the offensive coordinator in 2015, Dennison oversaw the Broncos offense as the team navigated a difficult schedule to finish with a 12-4 record, the AFC West Division title and the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Despite mid-season injury to Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning, Dennison helped the Broncos go 5-2 in QB Brock Osweiler's first seven career starts before Manning returned in Week 17. The offense went on to commit just three turnovers during the postseason to help secure a World Championship in Super Bowl 50 over Carolina.

Following Manning's retirement, Dennison coached first-year starting QB Trevor Siemian in 2016, a seventh-round draft pick (#250) in the 2015 NFL Draft. In 14 games Siemian went 289-for-486 for 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and only ten interceptions.

In Dennison's lone season with Baltimore (2014) and only season coaching quarterbacks, Joe Flacco established career-highs in passing yards (3,986-since broken) and touchdown passes (27) and posted a combined eight games with a passer rating above 100.0 while being sacked just 19 times—29 fewer than the previous year.

In Houston (2010-13), Texans running backs produced an NFL-best 29 individual 100-yard rushing performances, including 24 by Arian Foster, who was named an AP All-Pro selection three times in his four years under Dennison. During the 2012 season, 7 of Houston's 11 starters on offense were Pro Bowlers.

His first stint as an offensive coordinator came with the Broncos (2006-08). The offense ranked seventh in the NFL (350.5 yards per game) as Dennison oversaw one of just two units in the league to rank in the top ten in both passing and rushing. He previously worked as the offensive line coach (2001-05) and special teams coach (1997-2000). From 2001-05 Denver led the NFL in rushing in that five-season span, averaging 145.6 yards per game on the ground and 2,328 yards per season on average.

During his tenure as special teams coach in Denver the club won consecutive Super Bowls, topping Green Bay for the Super Bowl XXXII title and following it up in John Elway's final game with a Super Bowl XXXIII victory over Atlanta. Dennison originally joined the Denver staff in 1995 after spending the previous three years coaching at the high school level for Suffield (Conn.) Academy. He worked for two years in Denver as an offensive assistant (1995-96) before being promoted to special teams coach in 1997.

Undrafted out of Colorado State University, Dennison played nine seasons at linebacker for the Broncos, appearing in 128 games (52 starts) and totaling 514 tackles, 6.5 sacks, four interceptions, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He participated in three Super Bowls as a player and was the team's recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 1989.

At CSU, he earned three varsity letters and was named a second-team Academic All-American as a senior. Dennison earned two degrees in civil engineering from CSU, first his bachelor's in 1979 and later his master's degree in 1982.

A native of Kalispell, Montana, Dennison attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Col., lettering in football, basketball and baseball.

Dennison and his wife, Shannon, have three sons, Joseph, Steven and Trey, and twin daughters, Abrynn and Allie. His son, Joseph, is married to Hayley and the couple has three sons.

PLAYING CAREER: Colorado State, 1976, 1978-79; Denver Broncos, 1982-90.

COACHING CAREER: Suffield (Conn.) Academy, 1992-94; Denver Broncos, 1995-2009; Houston Texans, 2010-13; Baltimore Ravens, 2014; Denver Broncos, 2015-16; Buffalo Bills, 2017; New York Jets, 2018; Minnesota Vikings, 2019-21; New Orleans Saints, 2024

Rick Dennison coaching career

Table inside Article
Team Position Held Years
Denver Broncos Offensive assistant 1995-96
Denver Broncos Special teams coordinator 1997-2000
Denver Broncos Offensive line coach 2001-05
Denver Broncos Offensive coordinator 2006-08
Denver Broncos Offensive line coach 2009
Houston Texans Offensive coordinator 2010-13
Baltimore Ravens Quarterbacks coach 2014
Denver Broncos Offensive coordinator 2015-16
Buffalo Bills Offensive coordinator 2017
New York Jets Offensive line coach & run game coordinator 2018
Minnesota Vikings Offensive line coach & run game coordinator 2019-20
Minnesota Vikings Senior offensive advisor 2021
New Orleans Saints Senior offensive assistant 2024-present

New Orleans Saints players participated in the team's 2024 OTA practices on June 5, 2024 at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.