Sep 22, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan celebrates after a Kenny Vaccaro interception in the fourth quarter of their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Ryan makes it look so easy.
Ryan has taken one of the worst defenses in NFL history in one offseason and transformed it into one of the NFL’s best units.
This week the victim was the Chicago Bears, as the New Orleans Saints flustered Jay Cutler and Co. at home on the way to a 26-18 victory.
As usual, Ryan’s defense was outstanding. After not blitzing much all year and still finding success, Ryan elected to dial it up against the Bears for major results as detailed by ESPN’s Mike Triplett:
"The Saints’ defense had not been blitzing much this year. They hadn’t needed to, with their front four playing so well. But defensive coordinator Rob Ryan threw some new wrinkles at the Bears in the first half that worked wonders. Safety Malcolm Jenkins got a sack and forced fumble on a blitz. Linebacker David Hawthorne got a sack on a blitz. And safety Kenny Vaccaro got a sack when he and Jenkins both blitzed. Heading into the game, all 12 of the Saints’ sacks this season had come from defensive linemen or outside linebackers."
Suffice to say the strategy worked out, the Saints remain undefeated and the defense now strikes fear into the hearts of opponents along with the offense.
There were plenty of impact signings this offseason and the return of Sean Payton was huge, but nothing looms bigger now than the addition of Rob Ryan. Imagine what he can do with a few more years of quality drafting.
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