A new name has emerged in the Eagles’ search for a defensive coordinator: Dennis Allen.
The team asked for and received permission to talk with the Saints secondary coach, a league source said Wednesday night.
The surfacing of Allen comes after the Eagles lost one candidate for the job when Jim Mora withdrew his name from consideration for positions in Philadelphia and Denver.
Mora ended up not being a serious candidate for the Eagles, team sources said.
Allen, however, comes out of nowhere, partly because of his age and inexperience. The 38-year-old has never been a coordinator at any level. When the Eagles fired the 36-year-old Sean McDermott last week, team sources indicated that his likely replacement would be someone with more experience.
Like McDermott, Allen is seen as something of a prodigy. He’s been with the Saints for five years, first as an assistant defensive line coach and then as the defensive backs coach for the past three years.
This past season, New Orleans’ pass defense was ranked fourth in the NFL and allowed only 13 touchdowns. The years before the Saints were 26th in the league and surrendered 15 scores through the air. But they also forced 26 interceptions on the way to a Super Bowl title.
Allen got his start in the NFL with the Falcons as a defensive quality control assistant. As a player, he was signed by the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 1996, but he never played a down in the NFL. He played his college football at Texas A&M.