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Saints hire Eastern Illinois DC Adam Gristick as a defensive assistant

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Dennis Allen isn’t quite finished building his New Orleans Saints coaching staff. The Saints have hired former Eastern Illinois defensive coordinator Adam Gristick as a defensive assistant. per ESPN’s Katherine Terrell — Gristick was one of two coaches retained last year by new EIU head coach Chris Wilkerson, having been promoted to the coordinator role after coaching linebackers for four years. Before taking this job at his alma mater, Gristick started his coaching career at Missouri State and Syracuse.

So he’s an assistant on the rise. EIU has been a surprising NFL pipeline over the years; its alumni include Sean Payton, Tony Romo, and Jimmy Garoppolo. Maybe Gristick can make a positive impact on the Saints. New Orleans has a widely-respected linebackers coach in Michael Hodges, but he’s a candidate to leave in a few years for a coordinator job of his own (much like Aaron Glenn and Ryan Nielsen before him). It makes sense to bring in Gristick as a candidate to replace him if Hodges isn’t long for New Orleans.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire

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