Just a few years ago, NOLA was awash in love for Rob Ryan. But, the former Saints defensive coordinator quickly went from the hero of Ms. Mae’s to an exiled goat. It appears that the feelings are now mutual. During an interview with “The MMQB”, Ryan finally took some swipes back at the Black n’ Gold.
Now, working for the Bills, Ryan said that his problems with the Saints began with the system they imposed on him. According to the former coach, he was forced to implement a Seattle style defense in New Orleans.
“We changed the entire style of play. It was strange. But hey, I did the best job I could. And it wasn't good enough. They should have fired me. They probably should have fired everybody that made that decision to go in that direction,” Ryan said. Now I'm going to move my whole family over here to Buffalo for a reason: to go kick everybody's ass, including theirs.”
Before expounding upon said ass-kicking in Upstate NY, the Dude had more to say about the Saints years. For example, he faulted management for signing of Jairus Byrd. “They signed players; they signed a free-agent free safety and said, we are going to keep him in the middle of the field like the goalpost. Well, that's great. He's not going to make one play back there, and now we have changed the entire defense for one signing, and it ruined us.” Ryan elaborated, “He's a great kid. But the truth of the matter is, you let an All-Pro safety walk, Malcolm Jenkins, and lost your two best leaders on the team, him and Roman Harper.”
Sean Payton did not wait long to express his dissent. “The idea that it wasn't his defense, or he wasn't in charge of it, is silly,” Payton told Mike Florio on “PFT Live Friday (5.27). ”When you're struggling as bad as we're struggling for two years, and some of the same problems keep coming up — you know, 10 guys on the field — those are things that just are hard to live with”
If you think Ryan’s words sounded somewhat restrained given the source, don’t worry. There was some bravado. “Seattle has been great, but all the other teams doing (that scheme) are finishing shitty like I did,” declared. "Right there next to New Orleans is Atlanta, Jacksonville. That's not sour grapes. That's me getting pissed off. Because I am great.”
Twin brother and colleague Rex Ryan also took part in the interview, but he did not talk much about the Saints. Rob, however, did have several more gems including some commentary on his lap-band. The full piece is definitely worth checking out.