His time with Jets coach Rex Ryan over, safety Jim Leonhard opted last month to join the team that includes Rob Ryan on the coaching staff. Leonhard quickly learned that these fraternal twins don’t simply look like they’re identical.
“Personality-wise, they’re very similar,” Leonhard said recently, via the Baton Rouge Advocate. “It’s scary.”
The coaches, who can be fiery and combative, both preach to players that football should be enjoyed.
“It’s a lot of fun playing for them because they keep things interesting,” Leonhard said. “They make football fun; that’s their biggest thing. Rex always said that it’s a game for kids, and Rob uses the same kind of [motivational] stuff.
“They say that you’re very fortunate to be playing, so you should have fun doing it.”
But it’s not always fun listening to Rob Ryan.
“[H]e knows what we have to do, and he’s been very blunt and very in your face about it,” Leonhard said. “There are going to be expectations of the defense, so he laid it out there on Day One.”
The good news for the Saints flows from the bulk of last year’s bad news. With an historically bad defense in 2012, it won’t take much improvement to propel the Saints back to the postseason.
“There’s a bunch of guys in here with a bad taste in their mouth,” Leonhard said. “They know what winning feels like, and they want to get back to that.”
With Rob Ryan there and coach Sean Payton back and quarterback Drew Brees still in place, we’ve got a feeling that they will.