Saints’ ‘Dome-field advantage’ has disappeared during four-game home losing streak _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) looks as time winds down in a NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014.

Curtis Lofton has a theory about team building.

The New Orleans Saints linebacker said you can never have too many coaches, and he also said that having more intelligent people in the coaching ranks is a good thing — even if there could be some perceived overlap between those men.

So, he does not see it as a problem that the Saints recently hired Dennis Allen to serve as an assistant to the defensive coaching staff alongside defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

“I think he’s just going to make us better,” Lofton said. “Sean (Payton) is one of those coaches who’s going to go out and get the best.”

Lofton was not around when Allen served as a Saints coach from 2006-10, but he said he believes he possesses an intelligent football mind and should be able to help a New Orleans defense that finished among the worst in the NFL last season.

The Saints have not announced Allen’s hiring, but Lofton said he met him at the team’s Metairie headquarters on Thursday morning.

“I’m excited to work with him, I’ve heard nothing but good things about him,” Lofton said. “He’s a very intelligent coach and he’s very detailed. That’s something we definitely need.”

Lofton was at Hazel Park Elementary in River Ridge to speak about the importance of reading. He said he plans to soon get back to work after enjoying some downtime following New Orleans’ 7-9 finish.

Given time to reflect on the season, Lofton said he’s been able to diagnose where things went wrong last season and pointed to situational football as the biggest issue.

“There’s a lot of things. One of the things you look at is situational football,” Lofton said. “If we’re better there, we will win a lot of games.”

McCown gets new deal

Luke McCown will be given the opportunity to stick in New Orleans for another season.

The Saints signed the backup quarterback to a one-year deal Thursday that will pay him a $970,000 base salary. The deal includes an $80,000 signing bonus and $350,000 is guaranteed, according to a league source.

McCown beat out Ryan Griffin to serve as the Saints’ top backup last season. As last season came to a close, the 33-year-old expressed a desire to return to New Orleans for another season.

“I feel like I can still play,” he said. “I feel like this game is about continuing to get better. You’re not getting any younger, so you better get better. But yeah, I’d definitely love to be back.”

McCown is the first of New Orleans’ free agents to sign a new deal with the team. He will likely once again compete with Griffin for the backup quarterback job.

He has one career pass attempt in a game for the Saints.

He completed 26-of-43 pass attempts last preseason with three touchdowns and one interception.

Lofton on reworking deal

Lofton said he has not been approached about reworking his contract to create salary cap flexibility.

But if he were approached, Lofton did not say whether or not he would be amicable to making such a move.

“It depends,” he said.

Lofton’s contract is one of the less problematic deals on next year’s books.

He has a $2.65 million base salary and an additional $4.7 million that can be earned through roster, option and workout bonuses.

It’s likely the Saints will make a move to convert his $4.5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus that can be spread out over the remaining three years on his contract.