New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton, in his weekly appearance Monday on The Coaches Show on WWL-870, said that the team has hired Kevin O'Dea to help out with the special teams units.
O'Dea was special teams coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. The Saints have had three blocked kicks impact games this season: one was returned for a touchdown by the Giants, one was returned for a game-winning two-point conversion by the Broncos and one was returned last week by the Panthers that helped set up a touchdown. Rookie kicker Wil Lutz also has had a couple of kicks deflected this season.
"This is an ego-less business, a guy like Kevin is a big hire for us. He was fired up, he got up in today and started putting in a plan. And coaching a kicker is his specialty.. he's a solid coach.," Payton told WWL-870. "... I know you will see the return game improve. I think Kevin is going to help us in that area, and we're glad we have him on board."
The Saints (4-6) play host to the Los Angeles Rams (4-6) at noon Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and will look to end a two-game losing streak.
In addition to working as the Bucs' special teams coordinator in 2015 and 2014, O'Dea has worked for the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers.