NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - For Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, the search for a change in the personnel department began with the exit of Ryan Pace "When we lost Ryan to Chicago, I felt like we needed to add some experience, an evaluator from outside the building and I also felt like it would be good for us to get some fresh ideas."
Jeff Ireland met all the criteria and he's now officially a member of the Saints' personnel department. As a former Dolphins general manager, Ireland worked his way up the scouting ranks and earned a solid reputation around the league and with the Saints.
"I've known Jeff for a good period of time," Loomis said Wednesday. "I've known of him since he was a scout with Kansas City and obviously knew of him and about him with his role in Dallas and then when he became general manager of Miami, you have a lot more face-to-face contact and just contact about the business of the league so it's been quite a while, I haven't measured it in years and we've got some guys on our staff that have worked with him in the past. Joe Vitt in Kansas City, Sean in Dallas."
That connection to Payton in Dallas also connected him to Payton's mentor, Bill Parcells. And being around those type of successful people is a big reason why Loomis believes Ireland will be an asset to the Saints "He has a lot of experience and has worked with Bill Parcells and met a lot of great people that he's worked with and learned from in the past so I feel like we are expanding our knowledge exponentially."
Ireland does not have an official title with the club yet, but Loomis said both he and Terry Fontenot will be at the top of the personnel department directly under him.