Saints hire Kevin O’Dea to help address special teams woes

Errors on special teams the last two weeks have proven disastrous in a pair of close losses for the New Orleans Saints. To address the problem, the Saints have added another coach to their staff in hopes of correcting any issues moving forward.

According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, Saints head coach Sean Payton said on his weekly radio show on WWL-AM in New Orleans that the team is hiring former Tampa Bay Buccaneers special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea.

O’Dea will join Greg McMahon and Stan Kwan as those overseeing the Saints’ special teams units.

“I think when you have some struggles in an area, immediately I think the reaction is people want heads to fly,” Payton said. “(But) I think for us, it’s about bringing in someone that can help. I think Greg and (assistant special-teams coach Stan Kwan) and those guys, this is a low-ego business. We want to win. And that’s the most important thing.

“And so a guy like Kevin I think can help us, and he was fired up, he got in here this afternoon. He was in meeting with those guys, putting together a plan for (the Los Angeles Rams).”

A blocked PAT against the Broncos was returned for a defensive two-point conversion that gave Denver a 25-23 victory. Five days later, a blocked field goal was returned for a touchdown only to have a block in the back nullify the score. It didn’t matter as the Carolina Panthers scored on the drive anyway to complete the 10-point swing.

O’Dea has coached for eight different NFL teams since 1994 with his most recent two-year stint coming with the Buccaneers under Lovie Smith. O’Dea had been serving as an advisor for the league’s officiating department this season.

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