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Rob Ryan Named Saints Defensive Coordinator

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The New Orleans Saints announced Saturday morning that Rob Ryan will be the teams new defensive coordinator. Ryan, who has nine years of experience as a coordinator in the NFL with the Raiders, Browns, and Cowboys, replaces Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired on January 24. This move comes after Saints head coach Sean Payton announced he would implement a 3-4 defensive scheme in the 2013 season.

Ryan was the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots from 2000 to 2003. During that time, Ryan won two Super Bowls and coached the likes of Tedy Bruschi and Willie McGinest, both of whom reached the Pro Bowl under Ryan’s tutelage.

As a defensive coordinator, Ryan has been less successful. Outside of the 2006 season, when his Oakland Raider defense ranked third in total defense, his squads have been mediocre at best. His next best season was in 2011–his first season with the Dallas Cowboys–when his team ranked 14th in the league in total defense.

“[W]e have experience in preparing and playing against his defenses and they’ve always been challenging in terms of the different looks and pressures that they feature,” Payton said in a press release announcing the hiring. “We’ve had the chance to visit with each other and talk about our visions for our team and I’m excited about moving forward as we prepare for the 2013 season. Rob is enthusiastic about joining our team and getting right to work.”

The Saints also hired Stan Kwan as assistant special teams coach.

 

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