In 2012, the Saints’ defense fell apart during a season marked by suspensions for the bounty program run by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. In 2013, one Saints player says, they’re going back to that old Gregg Williams mentality.
Minus the bounties, of course.
Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins says new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is a lot more like Williams than he was like last year’s defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo. And Jenkins likes the toughness and aggressiveness that Ryan preaches.
“Personality-wise they are very similar,” Jenkins told the Associated Press. “They’re cut from the same cloth in that they know that players and matchups are what defense is all about and they have a lot of personality and they’re aggressive in their play-calling.”
Williams was an assistant to Rob’s dad, Buddy Ryan, and both Williams and Rob Ryan have said many times that Buddy Ryan’s influence was extremely important.
“They’re all from the same school, the Buddy Ryan defense, so there are a lot of similarities between what Gregg was running and what Rob is bringing,” Jenkins said. “But I think Rob has a few more wrinkles with the 3-4 and everything, and I think we’re going to have fun.”
Jenkins says the Saints under Ryan will have a defense that the rest of the league fears.
“There’s a line and you don’t cross it, but you want to get as close to that line as you can,” Jenkins said. “We definitely want to be a physical, feared defense.”
Williams did cross the line. But a physical, feared defense is just what the Saints want Ryan to bring.