Former Cowboys’ Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan Joins Saints

The New Orleans Saints hired former Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to follow Steve Spagnuolo who was fired last month after the team ranked 32nd in total defense in the National Football League.

Ryan was fired by the Cowboys on Jan. 8 by owner Jerry Jones who said the team needed to undergo changes after finishing the season 8-8 and missing the playoffs.

The Saints also hired Stan Kwan as assistant special teams coach. He spent the last three seasons with the Buffalo Bills.

“In regards to Rob, we have experience in preparing and playing against his defense and they’ve always been challenging in terms of the different looks and pressures that they feature,” said coach Sean Payton in a statement yesterday.

Under Spagnuolo, the Saints allowed 440.1 yards per game, an NFL single-season record for yards allowed. New Orleans also was last against the run allowing 147.6 yards per game and were 31st against the pass and in scoring defense.

Spagnuolo was fired by Payton after the coach was reinstated following a season-long suspension in connection with the club’s bounty program.

“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,” Ryan said.

Ryan, 50, a nine-year veteran as a defensive coordinator, spent the past two seasons with the Cowboys whose defense improved to 14th overall in 2011 after finishing 23rd in 2010.

Kwan, 45, who has been an NFL assistant for 22 years, comes from the Bills, who ranked first last season in punt return average with two touchdowns and were fourth-best in the league in kick-off return average.

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