new orleans saints rob ryan fired with dennis allen taking over 2015 nfl imagesNew Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan Fired, Dennis Allen Takes Over, Fans Rejoice

He’s gone, guys! We’re free!

The Who Dat Nation let out a collective sigh of relief today when the firing of New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan became official. Saying it’s about time is an understatement.

There was a little bit of confusion around the situation. It was announced early this morning that Ryan had been canned—rejoice!—but then head coach Sean Payton noted that he was “absolutely” still a member of the staff and that he would be meeting with the GM later about the situation—s***!. Fortunately, they say it the way fans have for the past two years.

“I’m disappointed for Rob that it didn’t work out,” said Payton. “I’ll tell you one thing now: He’s a fantastic staff guy, respected greatly, not only in the locker room but by his peers. And we just had to look closely at some point to at least give this an option because the direction we were heading wasn’t good. We really struggled with substitutions, getting lined up, getting guys on the field and being able to function.”

Yeah, and in stopping the run, making an effort in the passing game, and actually playing defense in general. There’s a reason the Saints are dead last in overall defense this season and on pace to give up the most passing touchdowns in NFL history.

Maybe Dennis Allen will help turn things around. I know the Saints didn’t formally bring him back as an assistant to replace Ryan, but I have a hard time believing that they didn’t foresee a situation like this one.

To give credit where credit is due, Ryan did have a good start to his career in New Orleans. In fact, the Saints defense was No. 4 in 2013. Surprising, I know.

Unfortunately, the good doesn’t even come close to outweighing the bad. The Saints finished 31st in 2014 and are currently dead last this season. Overall, New Orleans has had the statistically worst defense in football since Rob Ryan took over. Exactly what I was afraid of when he was hired. I wanted Romeo Crennel, but nooo.

Ryan had a great run as the New England Patriots linebackers coach, and he even has two Super Bowl rings to show for it. Maybe his linebackers benefited from SpyGate as well, because he has struggled greatly since then as defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders (2004-2008), Cleveland Browns (2009-2010), Dallas Cowboys (2011-2012), and of course with the Saints since 2013.

Not exactly teams well-known for their defensive prowess.

At least he still has that luscious, flowing hair going for him as he hits the job market.

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