Gary Gibbs is fired as New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator

Posted by Mike Triplett and Teddy Kider, The Times-Picayune January 07, 2009 3:24PM

The Saints fired Defensive Coordinator Gary Gibbs on Wednesday, 10 days after finishing the 2008 regular season ranked 23rd in the NFL in total defense.

“This was a very difficult decision to make,” Saints Coach Sean Payton said in a statement. “Gary Gibbs is a fine man and football coach who has worked diligently during his tenure with the Saints. I thank him for the many contributions that he has made to this team and wish him continued success in his career.”

Gibbs joined the organization three years ago, when he followed Saints Coach Sean Payton from Dallas to New Orleans. And Gibbs’ defense ranked 11th in the NFL during his first season with the team.
But Gibbs’ unit fell to 26th in the league in 2007, allowing 348.1 yards per game, and while the Saints finished with the No. 1-ranked offense in 2008, the defense saw little improvement.

Gibbs’ defense allowed 339.5 yards per game in 2008, struggling to cope with injuries and constantly giving up big plays in the secondary. The Saints also never seemed to find the production they were looking for from their defensive line, which has two highly paid defensive ends in Will Smith and Charles Grant but struggled in pressuring opposing quarterbacks.

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