WRs coach will finish season with Saints

New Orleans Saints wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson will be leaving to take over as head coach at Tulane University, but he’ll stay with the Saints for the rest of the regular season and however long the team plays in the postseason.

“The plan is he’s going to remain with us through the balance of the regular and postseason,’’ New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “It’s different from a couple of years ago when we lost (former offensive coordinator) Doug Maronne to Syracuse with two games remaining (in the 2008 season). In this case, we have four games remaining.

The Saints didn’t make the playoffs in the 2008 season. At the time, Payton said he wanted to allow Marrone to get started on his new job as quickly as possible and be able to jump right into recruiting. But the situation is a little different with Johnson, since he’ll be staying in town. Johnson will start his Tulane duties, but continue to coach the Saints’ receivers.

“There will be a balance where he can begin to put together a staff,’’ Payton said. “He’s very organized and will be able to multi-task very efficiently and effectively to benefit Tulane. That’s kind of been the plan in place.’’

Payton also saluted Tulane for making what he said was a great hire.

“I’m biased but that’s an outstanding decision and I’m excited for him and it’s well-deserved,’’ Payton said. “We’ll miss him. He’s been exceptional. The good news is he won’t be too far away. I think it’s a great decision by Tulane and they’re lucky to have him.”