METAIRIE – The Saints were expected to interview former St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo on Wednesday for the team’s vacant defensive coordinator position although team officials did not conform that a meeting took place.
Saints coach Sean Payton is in search of a new defensive coordinator after Gregg Williams left Monday to take the same job with the St. Louis Rams and new coach Jeff Fisher. Williams is a close friend of Fisher and was his defensive coordinator from 1997-2000 with the Tennessee Titans.
ESPN reported Tuesday afternoon that Spagnuolo, who was fired by the Rams earlier this month after going 10-38 in three seasons, would meet with Payton after interviewing with the Indianapolis Colts on Monday.
Before being hired by the Rams, Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants when they upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII after the 2007 season.
Spagnuolo was one of three names thrown out Monday after Williams’ departure. The others are former San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan and former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio. Nolan, however, on Tuesday was named defensive coordinator by the Atlanta Falcons.
EVANS, NICKS HONORED: Saints guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks have been chosen to the All-NFL team selected by Pro Football Weekly and Professional Football Writers of America.
Evans and Nicks, who were also first-team All-Pro picks by The Associated Press, were the only Saints named to the PFW/PFWA team. Joining Evans and Nicks on the All-NFC team are tight end Jimmy Graham and kick returner Darren Sproles.
THOMAS DOING WELL: Payton was asked in his end-of-the-year news conference Tuesday about running back Pierre Thomas, who was knocked out of Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff loss at San Francisco with a concussion after taking a violent helmet-to-helmet hit from 49ers safety Donte Whitner on the Saints’ first possession.
Payton said Thomas was doing very well since they returned home.
“At halftime, I saw him and it was a lot better than maybe I expected,” Payton said. “He’s going to be just fine.”
UPDATED DRAFT ORDER: After being eliminated from the playoffs, the Saints know they’ll have the 27th pick in each round of the draft this April.
Barring a trade, however, their first pick will come in the second round — the 59th overall — because of a deal that brought them an extra pick in the first round last spring that was used on running back Mark Ingram.
The New England Patriots will have the 27th overall pick in the first round.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.