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Saints hire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator

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By Kevin Fishbain

The Saints hired Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator, the team announced Saturday.

Ryan spent the past two seasons running the Cowboys’ defense, but was fired following the 2012 season. Ryan had briefly agreed to be the Rams’ new defensive coordinator, but that fell through because he was “not the right fit,” the Rams stated.

“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,” head coach Sean Payton said in a statement. “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.”

Ryan replaces Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired after one season as the Saints’ defensive coordinator. New Orleans finished last in the league in total defense last season.

When Payton announced the firing of Spagnuolo, he said the Saints would move to a 3-4 scheme in 2013, which Ryan has employed in his coaching career. He has also been a defensive coordinator with the Raiders (2004-08) and the Browns (2009-10).

“I am excited and thrilled to be joining the New Orleans Saints,” Ryan said. “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.”

The Saints also hired Stan Kwan as assistant special-teams coach.

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