Saints coach Sean Payton has chosen Rob Ryan as his new defensive coordinator, hoping New Orleans can overhaul a unit that was historically bad last season.
Ryan, the brother of Jets coach Rex Ryan, spent the past two seasons as Dallas' defensive coordinator. He was fired after last season, when his defense ranked 19th.
"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," Payton said when Ryan's hiring was announced Saturday, one day after he interviewed for the job. "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."
In 2010, Ryan was Cleveland's defensive coordinator when the Browns beat the Saints in the Superdome, intercepting passes by Drew Brees four times. One of those interceptions was made by linebacker Scott Fujita, who had been a captain of New Orleans' defense a season earlier and had helped Ryan prepare and execute the game plan against the Saints.
Ryan has run 3-4 schemes for years. He worked as a linebackers coach in such defenses in New England, where he was part of two Super Bowl-winning teams. He then spent five seasons as defensive coordinator in Oakland (2004-08), followed by two seasons in Cleveland before moving to Dallas in 2011.
Payton said he also has added Stan Kwan as an assistant special teams coach. Kwan has been an NFL assistant 23 years, the past three as special teams assistant in Buffalo.
Legends appear in PSA about gun reform
NFL greats Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, LaDainian Tomlinson and Marshall Faulk are appearing in a public service announcement in favor of gun law reforms.
The spot released Friday is paid for by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was founded by New York City's Michael Bloomberg and Boston's Thomas Menino. A solemn Smith speaks into the camera: "For the children of Sandy Hook Elementary." Then Tomlinson adds, "Demand a plan."
Faulk says later: "It's time for our leaders to do something."
Mayors Against Illegal Guns says on its website that it "advocates for common-sense measures that will close deadly gaps in our gun laws and make sure law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to detect and deter gun trafficking."