Kicker Wil Lutz echoed Ingram’s sentiments, in that Allen understands the culture the team has established and wants to maintain.
“I’ve been fortunate to be here with him the last seven years,” Lutz said. “I’ve said it before: There’s no replacing Sean Payton, but I think Dennis has come in and kind of set his standard. It’s his program now. It’s going to be run the way he wants it to be and I think there’s been no drop off. It’s been a smooth transition. I think it’s been good, I think everyone has been happy with it.”
Quarterback Jameis Winston, entering his third season as a Saint and second as the team’s starter, said Allen’s influence has been felt.
“I just love D.A.’s approach, how he’s stepped in and been a commander of men, and showed great leadership and great dialogue with all of us,” Winston said. “So I’m very excited and looking forward to the season and working with him continuously.”
Winston and his teammates possibly may not be more excited than Allen, who is in his second turn as a head coach. He lead the Oakland Raiders from 2012-14, and brings the wisdom gleaned from that experience, plus the insight gained after rejoining the Saints in 2015, into this head coaching detail.
“It’s exciting for me,” he said. “Absolutely, it’s exciting for me. It’s exciting for me to have an opportunity to do that here, with this group of guys, the organization, the coaching staff, the players. There’s an added excitement to this season for me.”