The New Orleans Saints are still without a defensive coordinator almost two weeks after the firing of Steve Spagnuolo. Some of the names that have been thrown around to replace Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator have been Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini. More recently, another big name has been thrown into the mix for a possible replacement: former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
It was only a matter of time before the Saints targeted Ryan, especially after his deal with the St. Louis Rams fell through. It appears that Ryan coming to the Saints is pretty much a done deal. Ryan is a highly respected defensive coordinator in the NFL and when he was fired by the Cowboys, he knew he would not be unemployed for very long.
The Saints plan to interview Ryan this Friday but at this point the interview might just be to work out the particulars of a contract. However, the Saints are also planning to meet with Georgia’s defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, this Thursday. Nevertheless, the meeting with Grantham might just be to keep options open for the Saints if Ryan was not to become the new defensive coordinator.
With the Saints switching to a 3-4 defensive alignment Ryan seems to make a lot of sense. There are not many defensive coordinators that are more familiar with the 3-4 scheme than Ryan. Furthermore, Sean Payton has maintained a close relationship with the Ryan family so it is no surprise that he would want to bring Ryan in.
There is speculation that Ryan’s deal could be done by this weekend and that is great news for the Saints. Payton obviously wants to work as fast as possible to get a deal done to bring in a new defensive coordinator and start improving the league’s worst defense. Ryan should bring some toughness and enthusiasm to the Saints defense and it could be exactly what the doctor ordered for a defense that had a historically bad season last year.