The Saints started the season with Jim Mora as coach in his eleventh season. The team started out by losing its first five games, won its next two, and then lost in Week 8 to the Carolina Panthers. After the loss, which was the team's second to the Panthers that season, Mora gave a postgame tirade where he criticized his team's effort in the second half of the game and said he was "ashamed" of the way they had played. Mora said the Saints could not do "diddly poo" offensively, which led to the rant becoming known as the "diddly poo" speech.
The next morning, Mora announced he was stepping down as the head coach after ten and a half years effective immediately. He left the hastily called press conference after announcing his resignation and refused to answer any questions from reporters. Linebackers coach Rick Venturi was named the interim coach for the remainder of the year, and the Saints went 1-7 under him with their only victory coming against the New York Giants in Week 16.