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The case for Carmichael:
— He took over play calling when Payton broke his leg last season in a sideline collision. The Saints went 9-1 afterward and set NFL single-season records for total yards and yards passing.
— He has been with the Saints since 2006, when Payton and Brees also arrived. Brees has often spoken of how much he likes working with Carmichael.
— He was an offensive assistant in San Diego from 2002-2005 while Brees with the Chargers.
The case for Spagnuolo:
— He is coming off a three-year stint as head coach in St. Louis.
— Before that, he was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants’ 2007-08 championship team that contained Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
— He is known for bringing the kind of intensity to the sideline and locker room that Payton did.
The case for Kromer:
— He has built up a decade of NFL coaching experience after a stint in the college ranks.
— He arrived in New Orleans in 2008, the year before the Saints won their only Super Bowl, and oversaw one of the best offensive lines in the league.
As for the front office, Loomis has three experienced hands reporting to him: Pro scouting director Ryan Pace, college scouting director Rick Reiprish and director of football administration Khai Harley, who is seen as a Loomis protege in the area of structuring contracts to fit under the salary cap.
Pace has been with the Saints since 2001, Reiprish since 2004 and Harley since 2008.
Reiprish and his staff have been credited with several considerable finds in the draft, notably all-pro guard Jahri Evans out of Division II Bloomsburg, and star receiver Marques Colston, a seventh-rounder out of then Division I-AA Hofstra.
They also took a chance on tight end Jimmy Graham, a converted college basketball player who made the Pro Bowl in his second NFL season.
New Orleans will need more of that magic in this year’s draft.
The Saints were docked second-round draft picks in both 2012 and 2013 as part of the bounty punishment, meaning New Orleans won’t have a 2012 pick until the third round.
That will put a premium on the scouts to come up with the type of later-round contributors they have in the past.
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