Saints players want Rob Ryan back

Saints players want Rob Ryan back

When the Saints finished dead last in total defense in 2012, former D-Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was sent packing. This year, in Rob Ryan's second season in Black and Gold, the Saints are only one spot better - 31st.

From rock star to scapegoat, the question is real: Will Rob Ryan be back in New Orleans next year?

"Rob's my guy," safety Kenny Vaccaro said. "I love Rob. I fight for Rob every game. I'm a Rob guy, there's no point in asking me about Rob."

Cornerback Keenan Lewis added, "I've played with two great coordinators. I was fortunate to play for Coach (Dick) LeBeau (Steelers), and I have the opportunity to play for Coach Rob, and I definitely feel that he should be back."

"I love Rob as a defensive coordinator, as a coach," linebacker Parys Haralson said. "I think he's an outstanding coach, but that's my opinion."

Vaccaro added, "He'll ride with me to the end. When I'm in year 17, he'll come get me off my couch, and say, 'hey come play for me.' Rob's my guy, and I'm riding with him regardless."

A lot has also been made this season of Ryan's relationship with head coach Sean Payton. Numerous times, fans saw big sideline arguments, those blowups highlighted by the national broadcasts.

Both men downplayed that a few weeks back, saying they were all good, all on the same page, and that it was all passion. On Monday, the players again said that in many games this season, Rob Ryan simply wasn't the problem. They were in position to make plays, and just did not get the job done.

"Can't just blame him when things go wrong," Lewis said. "I don't think the blame should go to the coaches at all. We're the ones out there playing, we gotta find a way to get a stop."

Haralson added, "He's an outstanding teacher. He understands the game of football and calls games well. A bunch of it is on us as players, we were the ones in position to make plays, and we just didn't execute."

This much support from the team is a sign of how much respect there is for Rob Ryan, but he willingly shoulders a lot of the blame. His players may want him back, but fans may not know if Sean Payton does until a move is made.

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