The report from Larry Holder of NOLA.com/The Times Picayune  that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is returning to the New Orleans Saints next season should not come as a surprise.

While the Saints defense struggled mightily in 2014, the reported moves last week of several New Orleans assistants being fired were telling.

If an NFL franchise is going to fire staff members, they rarely start from the ground up.

How many times do you recall a team firing several assistants, then fire a head coach or lead coordinator several weeks later?

Also worth noting is Ryan's unwavering support in the locker room. While the New Orleans defense struggling with communication in 2014, they were all clear in communicating their support for Rob.

Linebacker Curtis Loftin, cornerback Keenan Lewis, safety Kenny Vaccaro and many others were very outspoken in their support of Ryan, as well as their strong desire to have him back in 2015.

Ryan joined the Saints as defensive coordinator in 2013, one season after the New Orleans D finished dead last in the league.

In his first season, the Saints make giant strides on that side of the ball, finishing 2013 with the 4th ranked defensive unit.

With giant expectations in 2014, the Saints fell flat, especially on defense where they finished 31rst in total defense, 25th in pass defense, 29th in run defense and 28th in points allowed.

Holder also reports, through a source, that more offseason changes are on the way for both defensive staff and personnel.

As much as the Saints defense struggled, changes need to be made, but not necessarily at the top.

Ryan took a dreadful defense (2012) to a top-notch unit (2013). Can he do it again in 2015? The New Orleans Saints are counting on it.