New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton filled another position to his coaching staff on Monday as Wesley McGriff was hired as the team’s secondary coach.
McGriff spent last season serving as the co-defensive coordinator / cornerback coach at Ole Miss. McGriff has coached collegiate football for 22 years and was a part of a turnaround season at Ole Miss as the Rebels went from a 2-10 season in 2011 to a 7-6 season.
Payton fired defensive coordinator Steve Spanuolo and secondary coach Ken Flajole a day after joining his staff in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. The Saints defense gave up an NFL record 7,042 yards of total offense last season. Poor tackling, lack of coverage and overall ability to make plays plagued the defense last season.
McGriff helped Ole Miss finish second in the SEC and in the top 15 in the NCAA in tackles for a loss per game averaging 7.7, and sacks at 2.8 per game.
The Saints in a statement pointed out that McGriff has helped develop defensive backs at the collegiate level that have gone on to play in the NFL. Giant’s safety Kenny Phillips, Packers defensive back Sam Shields, Texans corner Brandon Harris and Jets defensive back Yeremiah Bell are the players attributed to McGriff’s development.
McGriff prior to joining the Rebels spent a year at Vanderbilt where he was the defensive backs coach / recruiting coordinator. There his secondary produced 12 interceptions with three of those returned for a touchdown. He coached defensive backs for four seasons at the University of Miami before that and the 2010 Hurricanes defense finished second in the country in pass defense.