Announced by executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis, the New Orleans Saints hired two additional coaching staff members in Rob Ryan and Stan Kwan Saturday. Ryan is the team’s new defensive coordinator and Kwan has been bought on as an assistant special teams coach.
“I’m pleased the opportunity has presented itself for us to be able to add both Rob Ryan and Stan Kwan to our coaching staff,” said Saints’ head coach Sean Payton. “In regards to Rob, we have experience in preparing and playing against his defenses and they’ve always been challenging in terms of the different looks and pressures that they feature. We’ve had the chance to visit with each other and talk about our visions for our team and I’m excited about moving forward as we prepare for the 2013 season.
“Rob is enthusiastic about joining our team and getting right to work,” he continued. “Stan is a veteran coach that understands all nuances of the special teams games and will work closely with Greg McMahon. He has a wealth of knowledge and I believe he will be a good fit on our staff.”
Ryan joins the Saints after spending the last two seasons running the defense of the Dallas Cowboys. Under his leadership in 2011, Ryan helped the Cowboys’ defense improved to 14th overall in the NFL after finishing 23rd in 2010 and ranked seventh against the run. In 2012, the Cowboys were one of only three teams in the NFL to have two players with 11 or more sacks. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware led the team with 11.5 and linebacker Anthony Spencer registered a career-high 11 takedowns. Both players were selected to the Pro Bowl.
The Cowboys held their opponents to a 43.9 percent third down conversion rate, ranking tenth in the NFL, despite sustaining injuries at several key positions throughout the course of the season.
Prior to joining the Cowboys staff, Ryan, brother of New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan and son of Buddy Ryan, served as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns from 2009-10 and from 2000 to 2003, Ryan spent four seasons as the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots where he was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams – XXXVI and XXXVIII.
For the past several seasons, the Saints has been known for being a bend-but-don’t-break defense and ranked near the bottom of the league in total defense. Last season, the Saints finished last in the league in yards allowed (440.1), rushing yards allowed (147.6) and next to the bottom in points allowed (28.4) and passing yards allowed (292.6).
Under Ryan, the Saints, who has talent, will be expected to lead a more discipline, aggressive defense, which will help give quarterback Drew Brees and his dangerous offense an extra series or two to bring havoc.
“I am excited and thrilled to be joining the New Orleans Saints,” said Ryan. “I have had the opportunity to get to know Sean Payton and his staff a bit better recently and I am excited about joining the team. I have a ton of respect for Mr. Benson, Mickey (Loomis) and the organization and I’m ready to get to work on all facets of the game. This is a great opportunity and we’re getting started right away.”
Kwan will enter his 23rd season as an NFL assistant. He spent the past three seasons as the assistant special teams coach for the Buffalo Bills, where they ranked first in the NFL last season in punt return average (17.1 avg.) with two touchdowns and were fourth-best in the league in kick-off return average (27.0 avg.).