After flipping over cars and burning couches in response to the Rob Ryan hire, I have calmed down in some respects to the New Orleans Saints bringing in "the other Ryan" to the Big Easy. His history as a defensive coordinator, statistically speaking, has not been pretty, but those stats could be very misleading.
In those misleading stats, Ryan's teams have only finished higher than 14th in yards allowed once and have never finished above 13th in points allowed.
These are the rankings that have you scratching your head and asking yourself, "How does this guy keep getting defensive coordinator gigs?"
One of the reasons that this could keep happening is because the man knows how to connect with his players, and they love to play for the man. It could be as simple as that. (Even though his mouth does bring unwanted attention to a team that could use a lot less of it.)
That could be it, but there is also an underlying reason that Ryan keeps getting rehired despite his team's shortcomings in its defensive rankings. That reason, simply, could be that he never had dependable offense on the other side that would put up enough points on the board or give Ryan's defenses a lead to play with.
Having a lead on defense allows an aggressive coach to gamble a little more with play-calling, and, when that happens, then come the turnovers.
And that is the kind of defense that a Drew Brees-led offense can take to a Super Bowl.
In Ryan's nine seasons as a defensive coordinator, his offenses have given him a lead of at least eight points or more in 37 games.
In those 37 games, his teams have won 27 of them.
That's a percentage around the 75 mark. Considering the Saints offense, with Sean Payton at the helm, are a team that rarely gets turned away from scoring points, I'd say that that's a good percentage to go by. Having a coach on the defensive side of the ball that knows how to put his foot on the opponent's throat when they are down is great, especially when there is a coach on the offensive side that has that same mentality. Last time i checked, winning 75 percent of your games is a 12-4 season.
Starting to like Rob Ryan yet? How about another stat for you?
Keep in mind, with this next stat, that the Saints, under Payton, have averaged 28 points per game. If only Ryan would have had an offense like that on his side, his teams would have had a lot more notches in the win column.
Ryan's defenses, in those nine years, have held opponents to 21 points or fewer 29 times. That's an average of three more wins per season if he had an offense like the Saints having his back.
The real remarkable tidbit that sticks out to me in those 29 times is that seven of those times came in the 2006 season when his Oakland Raiders went 2-14. If those teams are able to play around with the 21-point barrier even a little bit, that is a .500 team and perhaps preventing the mistake that was JaMarcus Russell.
While I am on those Raiders teams he was a part of, I might as well mention that the one good year he enjoyed there was the awful '06 season. His team came in ranked first in pass defense and third in total yards. That is a No. 1 ranking where the two safeties were a baby-faced rookie named Michael Huff and some guy named Stuart Schweigert.
That year alone should at least give you the idea that, with any personnel, he will keep his players fighting for him because if they could still play hard during that pathetic offensive season he can get just about anything out of a player that's willing.
It was shown last year that players weren't willing to do that for Steve Spagnuolo, but maybe they just might with a guy like Rob Ryan.
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