Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace says relationship with team’s scouts and coaches is stronger than ever

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MOBILE, Ala. — In his 12 seasons with the Saints, Ryan Pace has never seen the collaboration between the team’s scouts and coaching staff be as strong as it is now. Why would he want to leave now, even for a general manager position Miami was interested in interviewing him about recently, he asked rhetorically at the end of a Reese’s Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Wednesday?

“This is the best group of scouts we’ve had together since I’ve been with the Saints,” said Pace, who’s in his first year as New Orleans’ director of player personnel. “It’s also probably the best it’s ever been as far as our scouting department’s relationship with our coaches.”

Pace found himself in NFL headlines when the Dolphins asked to interview him for a vacant GM spot as the Saints geared up for their divisional playoff in Seattle on Jan. 11. The Saints, though, blocked the request — General Manager Mickey Loomis on Tuesday said it was because the team was focused on preparing for the Seahawks.

A day later, Pace for the first time spoke with a couple of reporters about the situation. He assured he wasn’t tempted to leave the Saints for a more prominent position elsewhere.

“It was … kind of what we had going right now, and the group of guys we had going together,” Pace said in response to a question about why that was the case. “It’s … my role with the Saints and how good I feel about where we’re at right now.”

Loomis will be glad to hear that, but he admits it’s inevitable Pace will seize the right opportunity elsewhere if it comes along.

“He’s a great young personnel director,” Loomis said a day earlier. “He’s got a great eye for talent and (players) that fit what we want to do. He’s very talented.”