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Rob Ryan: Keenan Lewis was the NFL’s best defensive free agent

Keenan Lewis AP

Rob Ryan has never been shy about talking up his players, and he hasn’t stopped in his new job.

Ryan, the first-year defensive coordinator of the Saints, says that when New Orleans signed cornerback Keenan Lewis away from Pittsburgh, they got the best defensive free agent in the entire league this year.

I’m so excited about Keenan Lewis — everything about him since the day we signed him,” Ryan said, via the Times-Picayune. “He’s got so much ability. The sky is the limit for this guy. He’s going to be fantastic for us. We’re so excited about him. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s long. And he’s a local hero. You’ve got to love this guy. In my opinion, I honestly feel we got the best free agent out there on defense.”

We had Lewis as the No. 41 player in our free agent rankings, so we’re not quite as high on him as Ryan is, but Lewis will surely make a difference in the Saints’ secondary this season. And on a Saints team that desperately needs to get better on defense, he really is one of the most important defensive free agents in the league. That’s not just Ryan bluster.

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45 Responses to “Rob Ryan: Keenan Lewis was the NFL’s best defensive free agent”
  1. elwaysagenius says: Aug 1, 2013 7:15 PM

    I’m sure he was bud

  2. hutch119 says: Aug 1, 2013 7:18 PM

    Just like you are the NFL’s best DC right Rob?

    What a clown. The Saints will challenge their defense from last year as the worst of all time.

  3. beerbudsnbevo says: Aug 1, 2013 7:19 PM

    Saints defense will not be that good. New Coordinator, big injuries at linebacker already, DBs questionable…

    The NFC South as a whole will be much more competitive this year.

    You may not wanna run your mouth too much like you did in Dallas, Ryan…

  4. zeke2517 says: Aug 1, 2013 7:19 PM

    Yeah I’ll take Rex over this guy.

  5. gloryfromheaven says: Aug 1, 2013 7:20 PM

    You would think someone like Ed Reed, Elvis Dumervil or Mike Wallace would be better but I guess I must be mistaken…

  6. gbpshareholder says: Aug 1, 2013 7:23 PM

    says the guy who lost his last job to the ultimate geriatric…

  7. raynman49 says: Aug 1, 2013 7:25 PM

    What did Mrs. Ryan feed those boys, anyway??

  8. ghlatty says: Aug 1, 2013 7:25 PM

    Probably the Steelers biggest offseason mistake.

  9. afcdomination says: Aug 1, 2013 7:28 PM

    why must they do this to themselves? so now he must play like the best free agent too. why not just say you are happy with him, or all that nice stuff WITHOUT making him the absolute best FA available. typical RYAN boasting.

  10. youarejealousof6rings says: Aug 1, 2013 7:29 PM

    Rex would’ve said he was the best defensive player in the league.

  11. irvin12589 says: Aug 1, 2013 7:30 PM

    Wellllllllllllllll when you have the worst Defense in the NFL any player is HUGE for you lol. The Ryans are a walking joke.

  12. noring4youstill says: Aug 1, 2013 7:33 PM

    Who was ahead of him? Ed Reed? May not be ready for week 1. Namdi? Not since days of Oakland has he produced. Look Rob is a loud mouthed A hole, but we needed secondary help. They went out and got it. A solid producer. Not a big name.

  13. besdayz says: Aug 1, 2013 7:40 PM

    Considering Ed Reed is an arthritic patient who fleeced the Texans and Nmandi is approaching 45 years of age, that leaves Goldston, Lewis, and Sean Smith as the best DBs this year free agency.

    I’d take Goldston as best overall but Lewis as the best CB is not a stretch. Better than Sean smith. and cheaper than goldston, more healthy the Reed and a probably 2 decades younger than Nmandi.

  14. drfeelyouup says: Aug 1, 2013 7:41 PM

    He ate himself stupid

  15. SAV says: Aug 1, 2013 7:50 PM

    Rob Ryan wasn’t the problem in Dallas. Losing Demarco Murray and a porous OLine was. They had rookies all over the field and Sean Lee was hurt on D. I’m sure he lost the gig because he had a pair of b-lls and Jerry Jones don’t like no one bigger then he on the team other then the QB.

    Keenan Lewis is a legit talent and your rankings at 41 were way off. Rob Ryan is a damn good DC and so is Rex Ryan. These guys are a big mouthy and often coaches beef up their players in the media to inspire confidence in them by giving them recognition. It’s called motivating.

    I don’t appreciate a lot of the bravado by Rex but Rob ain’t Rex. Rob’s Rob.

    Signed,

    A Ravens Fan

  16. keylimelight says: Aug 1, 2013 7:51 PM

    Rob will be Rob but this guy Lewis has been doing flashy work since training camp opened. The local media and fans have been excited about him, too.

    From the link:

    “Lewis has been a Saints fan his whole life, and it’s always been his dream to play for the hometown team. He even worried that other NFL teams might not want to draft him coming out of college [2009] because he let them know how much he wanted to play for the Saints. And when he became a free agent for the first time, he said he turned down the chance for more money to come to New Orleans.”

    Can’t wait to see how he does this season. The Saints secondary sucked wind last year.

  17. shickenchit says: Aug 1, 2013 7:54 PM

    Keenan won’t produce turnovers but he can cover. He defended Aj Green with a groin injury.

  18. bennyb82 says: Aug 1, 2013 7:54 PM

    He was the best defensive free agent just like Rob was out of a job for 5 minutes and Calvin Johnson would have been the number 3 receiver on the Cowboys.

  19. wryly1 says: Aug 1, 2013 7:55 PM

    The next timer Rob Ryan fields a Defense on a team with a winning record will be the first time. If he weren’t Buddy Ryan’s son, he probably couldn’t get a high school assistant coaching job in Podunk.

  20. usmutts says: Aug 1, 2013 8:00 PM

    It doesn’t matter how good your corners are if you can’t rush the passer. The Saints have nobody – not one single player – who can bring pressure. And just look at the QB’s they go up against this year.

    Meanwhile, Ryan’s defenses have a well earned reputation for collapsing in the fourth quarter. Look for more of the same. And I like the Saints and wish them nothing but victories.

  21. upthegut34 says: Aug 1, 2013 8:01 PM

    It appears Brent Grimes might also be in the running. Currently having a fantastic camp in Miami.

  22. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Aug 1, 2013 8:03 PM

    Keenan must bring in donuts every day for Ryan.

  23. aaronfraudgers says: Aug 1, 2013 8:04 PM

    haha look at all these butthurt Jets fans thumbing down any comment that talks negatively about the Jets.

  24. bart3976 says: Aug 1, 2013 8:06 PM

    A dogs bark carries more knowledge than Rob Ryan’s knowledge.

  25. flannlv says: Aug 1, 2013 8:12 PM

    This will be the first time Rob Ryan has an offense that is going to produce points which will help the defense. I expect a 10 win season and the Saints to return to the tournament where anything can happen.

  26. koolaidcircusbeast says: Aug 1, 2013 8:16 PM

    Dashon Goldson was the best defensive free agent.

  27. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 1, 2013 8:19 PM

    Keenan Lewis is a legit talent and your rankings at 41 were way off. Rob Ryan is a damn good DC and so is Rex Ryan. These guys are a big mouthy and often coaches beef up their players in the media to inspire confidence in them by giving them recognition. It’s called motivating.

    I don’t appreciate a lot of the bravado by Rex but Rob ain’t Rex. Rob’s Rob.

    Iam surprised as a raven troll you don’t like bravado….right. The raven Mantra is bravado. Bet it kills you, but could you say he was part of the steeler defense that shut down jump ball Joe in your house when you got batch slapped.

  28. raikarr says: Aug 1, 2013 8:30 PM

    “usmutts says: Aug 1, 2013 8:00 PM
    It doesn’t matter how good your corners are if you can’t rush the passer. The Saints have nobody – not one single player – who can bring pressure. And just look at the QB’s they go up against this year. ”

    Might want to do some research before saying this. We have not ONE player that can bring pressure? Last year Cam Jordan had 8 sacks. Galette notched 6 on very limited snaps. We’re now moving to a more aggressive scheme that will play to the strengths of our players; Cam back in the 3-4 he played in college, Galette starting now as a rushing OLB and– this next part might be the most important bit– less coverage, more blitzing from Roman Harper. Are the Saints suddenly going to jump to a top 5 sack leader? No. But we’re going to do a damn sight better than previously.

    With these changes and the additions of Lewis and Vaccaro, I feel very optimistic about our defense this year. My only worry is how we stack up vs. the run.

    “beerbudsnbevo says: Aug 1, 2013 7:19 PM
    Saints defense will not be that good. New Coordinator, big injuries at linebacker already, DBs questionable…”

    New DC doesn’t translate to a poor season. We did pretty well in Gregg Williams’ first season (even if he was a dirty bastard.) The “biggest” injury we have at linebacker is losing Butler for the season, and since he was previously a backup player who may or may not have actually helped our defense, I’m not that worried about it. Feel bad for the guy, but I don’t see it as a major blow; we lost an unknown commodity. Meanwhile Martez Wilson has a much more minor injury and will be back with time to spare before week 1. During the downtime he’ll be studying film alongside Butler, learning the scheme, and getting ready while the young guys (particularly Rufus Johnson and Eric Martin) have a chance to show their stuff and shine. As for questionable DBs.. Greer is still a solid starter, maybe not quite as good, but definitely solid. Harper is going to be doing a LOT less coverage. Robinson is rightfully no longer a starter. And last but not least we bolstered the ranks with Lewis and Vaccaro. The only question is how they all mesh together on gameday.

  29. wgray981 says: Aug 1, 2013 8:54 PM

    As a Dallas fan, I am so glad to see this idiot gone. All I remember about him is a consistently terrible defensive scheme.

  30. raiderapologist says: Aug 1, 2013 8:58 PM

    I thought the Big Donut would bestow that title on himself.

  31. jrobitaille23 says: Aug 1, 2013 9:00 PM

    As a Steelers fan who has seen every snap he has played I can say with no uncertainty that he was way overrated. He had a lot of pass defensed because he was constantly being targeted. He is only slightly better than William (cost us the SB vs. GB) Gay. I am psyched they let him go without matching. Sure, there are some yahoo Steeler fans who bought the hype but just look at game tape. He was decidedly average. He holds downfield, he allows way too much separation and he has no ball skills. Besides that..he’s great

  32. hor2012 says: Aug 1, 2013 9:00 PM

    I’m a big saints fan. But, what is that really saying that he’ll improve our secondary. I mean it’s not like that going to be hard to do after last year. where else can the d go besides up

  33. doublenickelz says: Aug 1, 2013 9:06 PM

    Message to all Saints Fans: As a Cowboy fan, all I can tell you is that you should just hope that Ryan gets lost on his way to the games! This guy is nothing but a big fat blowhard!! I saw HIS defense give up countless last minute drives in the 2 years he was our DC. This guy listens to nobody and never learns. Good luck to you!

  34. jmblosser82 says: Aug 1, 2013 9:21 PM

    Lewis will be missed in Pittsburgh, but it won’t hurt as much if Gay continues his good play(I would rather have lewis, but you know what they say about when life gives you lemons). No way he was returning to Pittsburgh when his hometown showed interest, can’t blame a guy for that.

  35. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 1, 2013 9:33 PM

    Rob Ryan is what you call a smoke blower.

  36. silentcount says: Aug 1, 2013 10:05 PM

    People need to admit that the Saints defense wouldn’t have been as bad last season if their head coach had been there. He’s there now, and they have added many better players as well. People are just kidding themselves if they think Sean Payton will put up with a bad defense this year. It may not be the best, but it’ll be good enough to match the 2009 season results. The Saints will get even for Goodell’s accusations that he could never prove, and rightfully so.

  37. boyshole25 says: Aug 1, 2013 10:51 PM

    Said exact thing about Brandon Carr last year in Dallas

  38. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 1, 2013 11:32 PM

    He’s an every down warrior that will no doubt improve the Saints secondary.

  39. isithockeyseasonyet says: Aug 1, 2013 11:33 PM

    Why can’t these fat Ryan brothers just shut up already and do their talking on the field? Probably because they suck, just answered my own question. They’re not cute or funny when they say this stupid crap, sad and pathetic

  40. nimbushex says: Aug 1, 2013 11:42 PM

    Can’t disagree with him, I hated to see this guy go as a Steelers fan. I wouldn’t call it a mistake by the Steelers however, they couldn’t have freed up enough cap space to sign him and I don’t think he ever intended to sign with anyone other than NO anyway.

  41. larryjames836 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:13 AM

    A lot of these comments that are being said about Rob Ryan hearsay. Rob Ryan is a good coach and he the right guy for the job with the Saints. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a bad move when he fired Rob Ryan this season going to tell who Rob Ryan really are. All the way New Orleans Saints you guys are the contender in 2013.

  42. flmike says: Aug 2, 2013 6:56 AM

    The idiots twin brother is just as big an idiot…
    He had great talent on the Dallas d yet could do nothing with it, he now has less talent to work with, is changing from a 4/3 to a 3/4 with 4/3 players and your DBs still suck. No Idiot2 the best FA’s available this season were Dashon Goldson and Revis (Yes, I said Revis, he was free to anyone who wanted to pay the Jets) and the Bucs got both as well as from reports coming out of camps, the best corner in the draft in Jonathan Banks. The Saint’s D will challenge itself to be the worst D ever, again. They better be able to score 60 a game, ’cause that D ain’t gonna stop anyone, welcome to 3rd place, maybe, not really sure if they can even stop Scam and the Panthers…

  43. larrydavid7000 says: Aug 2, 2013 10:34 AM

    @sav the Cleveland raven fan. Injuries are part of the game for all 32 teams its a fact. Not and excuse!!!! The differences between the good and bad is DEPTH on the roster of any team. So the Ryan brothers are and will be a J O K E as long as they keep running their mouths off. Signed Everyone on this site.

  44. originalsteelcurtain says: Aug 2, 2013 12:35 PM

    K-Lew was solid is his first year as a starter.

    Steelers normally keep their ascending stars, but they have a kid ready to replace him who’s even better…future Pro-Bowler Cortez Allen.

  45. jolink653 says: Aug 2, 2013 8:02 PM

    Does anyone in this family ever shut up? Send them both to the unemployment line

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