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Transcript: General Manager Mickey Loomis speaks with the media at Senior Bowl

Loomis: 'Our head coach is the face of the franchise, the direction we are going to be headed. It’s a real important decision'

New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis

Media availability

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022

How is the coaching search going?

"We've had three candidates in. They've all been really impressive in their own right."

Did you interview Brian Flores?

"Yes we did."

How did that go?

"He was very impressive and we had a great interview. It went well."

What do you like about Dennis Allen?

"First of all he's a great coach, he's been a part of our building for a long time. Obviously there was a time when he wasn't with us. But he's been a part of the building, a part of the culture and the success we've had over the years and has the experience as a head coach as well."

Are you questions that you have received from candidates about the job significantly different than 15 or 16 years ago the last time you conducted a coaching search?

"I can't remember 15-16 years ago (laughter), but they probably are different, but I think we are still trying to find out the same sort of things, get a feel for the same things from head coaching candidates, a lot of philosophy, vision and leadership. Specific questions might be a little different."

What did you like about the interview with Brian Flores that really stood out?

"Just a lot of things, I don't want to get into the specifics. But we had a good interview and he was impressive."

Did Flores tell you about his pending lawsuit?

"He did after we finished the interview."

In general, do you like how the league has things set up with the Rooney Rule? Would you like to see anything changed about it just how the process of getting candidates in? Is it something where tinkering could make it more effective?

"I think you always look at the process and evaluate it, look at some things that would be done differently. There were some changes this year and I'm sure the league will evaluate that and make more adjustments as we go along." 

How big a decision is this head coaching search?

"Our head coach is the face of the franchise, the direction we are going to be headed. It's a real important decision. I'd like it be someone that coaches here for 16 years and has a lot of wins like the last one. It's an important decision. None of us are taking this lightly. We're working to find someone that can lead us and our team for the long run."

How different is it not having Sean Payton here this week?

"It's different. It's been different since he informed us. It's hard to describe without getting emotional about it."

Have you updated a timeline for when you want to finish this head coaching hire?

"First of all you always want to do it as quickly as you can, but it's a lot more important to get it right than to be quick and so we're going to take our time. We have a set of criteria and things that we're looking for and candidates. We're just going to go through the process." 

Can you discuss some of the criteria that you are looking for in your next head coach?

"Yes, there are some things. I don't want to get into what those are specifically. But we have some thoughts that we share amongst ourselves." 

How do you evaluate the roster decisions coming up?

"All the roster decisions we've talked about. We've evaluated our team. We kind of have a good idea of what we have, but we need the coaching staff in place and the head coach in place in order to finish that process. I'm not going to answer any questions relative to the roster until the coaching search ends."

How do you marry the quarterback decision with the head coaching decision. Do they go hand in hand?

"They're pretty important. Replacing Drew Brees and Sean Payton are pretty important. It's a question that every candidate's going to have. That's a collaborative decision and we have in-house candidates, those who have been with us and maybe other candidates. But we'll just go through that process and determine who those are we'll come up with a collective (decision)."

Can you talk about the potential head coach's vision at the position?

"Again, I think that's a collaborative, collective decision. That's not just one person."

Do you feel the cap situation is better than last year?

"We're just in that pond where it never feels great, right? We have some challenges and we'll manage it. I'm confident we'll manage it. We don't have a lot of margin for error. That's just the way it is."

I'm sure coaches have been trying to sell themselves for the position. What have you been selling them?

"It's a little different than 16 years ago, I'll grant that. I think we're a desirable place and I think we're desirable for a lot of reasons."

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