Rob Ryan was relieved of his duties as the Saints’ defensive coordinator during the 2015 season while the team was on its way to finishing 32nd in the league in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed.
That performance came on the heels of a 2014 campaign that ended with the same ranking in yardage and a 28th-overall finish in points, but it probably comes as little surprise to learn that neither of those performances did much to temper Ryan’s confidence in his coaching ability.
Rob joined twin brother and Bills head coach Rex for an interview with Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com that fits right in with what we’ve come to expect from the Ryans over the years. When asked about why the two brothers have joined forces, Rob managed to promise wins over Bill Belichick and declare his work in New Orleans a success in a short period of time.
“For me, and I’ll speak for myself on this, I have an extra hunger,” Rob Ryan said. “I have always been a guy who is going to work my tail off, and I think I have always advanced the head coach’s plan. But at the end of the day, the last two years in New Orleans were a waste of time for me. I want to give everything I have to a team that I want to be a part of, with a head coach I want to be a part of. Not only is Rex a great head coach, but he is also a great defensive coach. He’s going to be the best coach that I can work for, anytime. And I have worked for Belichick, who is the best head coach in football, in the history of the game. But we’re going to beat him, and we’re going to beat him together. And it’s going to be an awesome challenge. I need to be in a multiple system. I was hired to be in a multiple system in New Orleans, and I did a damn good job and got fired for it. I am more hungry now than I have ever been. So I wanted to go with the right guy. And the right guy is someone I have 100 percent trust in and 100 percent faith in.”
Rob Ryan’s defense of his time with the Saints centers on a 2014 move to make the defense more like the one the Seahawks have been running in recent years. He said signing safety Jairus Byrd “ruined us” and that all teams running a variation of the Seattle defense have been “s—ty” while his biggest mistake was sitting on his hands and letting it happen.
Rex Ryan has said similar things in defense of the Bills’ defensive performance in 2015 and promises a return to his full scheme in 2016 with his brother by his side. Based on this interview, it’s certainly a return/continuation of the full-throated style that will make the Ryans easy targets should the improvement fail to come.