Rob Ryan Named Defensive Coordinator of New Orleans Saints

Tim KeeneyContributor IFebruary 5, 2013

Well, it didn't quite take five minutes, but former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has found himself a new job.


UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 10, at 12:57 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

The New Orleans Saints' SVP of Communications, Greg Bensel, has refuted the report that the Saints are monitoring Rob Ryan's contact with the media.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 10, at 11:51 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

The Saints reportedly will monitor Rob Ryan's contact with the media, according to's Andy Fenelon.

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UPDATE: Saturday, Feb. 9, at 9:05 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke 

The New Orleans Saints have officially hired Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator, according to FOX Sports' NFL insider Jay Glazer (via Twitter):

The Saints' official team website later confirmed Glazer's report. 

Sean Payton had nothing but praise for Ryan's abilities as a defensive mind, as quoted by the Saints' official Twitter account:

Ryan will have his work cut out for him in New Orleans, as the Saints gave up a league-leading 440 yards per game last season.

—End of update—


UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 1:33 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

ESPN's Adam Schefter continues to report that the Saints do intend to hire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator:

The New Orleans Saints plan to hire former Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator, according to league sources...

...Saints coach Sean Payton would only say Ryan will interview with the Saints at the end of the week, when asked Wednesday morning to address the hiring in a phone interview with ESPN Radio's 'Mike and Mike in the Morning.'

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UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 9:31 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

Don't go buying your Rob Ryan Saints jersey just yet. According to Larry Holder at The Times-Picayune, this isn't yet a done deal:

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton will interview Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham on Thursday and former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on Friday, according to a league source.

The source also said the hiring of Ryan isn't a done deal. ESPN reported Wednesday night the Saints planned on hiring Ryan citing league sources.

—End of update—


According to league sources, Ryan will be hired as the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints (via ESPN's Adam Schefter):

Ryan, who served as the D-coordinator for the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns before Dallas hired him, was fired by the Cowboys after two seasons. 

In 2011, Ryan's defense, according to Football Reference, ranked 14th in the NFL in yards allowed, 16th in points allowed and 16th in takeaways. Last season, however, thanks to both injuries and inadequate play, the Cowboys dropped to 19th, 24th and 28th, respectively. 

Despite the rough ending in Dallas, Rob—much like brother Rex—is often thought of as a defensive mastermind, and that's exactly what the New Orleans Saints need right now.

This stat, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info, tells the entire story:

It gets worse.

The Saints ranked dead last in total yards allowed and dead last in DVOA's defensive rankings

Drew Brees and his slew of weapons are always capable of putting up points in a hurry. Last season, New Orleans' offense finished second in the NFL in total yards and third in points, but thanks to absolutely no help from the defense, it finished an incredibly disappointing 7-9.

Saints fans will be hoping Ryan can quickly give this team some much-needed balance. 

Ryan, who reportedly came close to joining the St. Louis Rams about a week ago, will take over for Steve Spagnuolo following a historically bad year in which he replaced a suspended Gregg Williams amid the "Bountygate" scandal. 

Some stability at the position is desperately needed in New Orleans.