Sean Payton turned to a familiar face in his quest to fill out the Saints’ coaching staff.
Mike Neu, a former personnel staff member with the franchise, will replace Joe Lombardi as New Orleans’ quarterbacks coach. Lombardi took a job as Detroit’s offensive coordinator.
Neu is leaving his post teaching quarterbacks at Tulane, where he worked alongside former Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson, now the Green Wave’s head coach.
“Neu did a great job,” Johnson said. “He was a great evaluator and a heck of a recruiter.”
Lombardi took the job with the Lions on Jan. 21, leaving Payton one short of a full staff.
He looked to Neu, who worked with current Saints reserve quarterback Ryan Griffin while at Tulane.
“It was ongoing for awhile,” Johnson said Wednesday while discussing Tulane’s signing day class. “I talked with Sean (Payton) and he was going to do it. He was going to pull the trigger on Mike and it was just a matter of time.”
In two years at Tulane, Neu helped guide Griffin to honorable mention all-Conference USA status after he completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,771 yards and 20 touchdowns.
This past season, he played a role in Nick Montana and Devin Powell transitioning the offense from Griffin. Tulane went 7-6, earning its first bowl berth in a decade.
Prior to his time Uptown, Neu was with the Saints, where he was the franchise’s northeast region evaluator. He worked as the VooDoo’s head coach, compiling a 33-31 record.