Rob Ryan revenge tour at Dallas… or will it be the other way around?


As everyone gears up for Sunday’s primetime match up between New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys, it just wouldn’t be right if  Saints defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, didn’t throw in some sharp witted comments about being fired by the Cowboys in 2012.

When asked about Dallas’ offense Ryan cracked, “You know they’ve had a change in coordinator, like they do every year.”

“When I was hired in New Orleans I came into something special and I’m not going to screw it up. I’m going to work hard and get it right.” -Rob Ryan

Then when further asked how complicated his defensive scheme’s were said to be in Dallas when he was with the team, Ryan said, “I think whatever excuse people need to make about letting me go, I’m sure there’s a long line of them.”

Rob Ryan won round one of his revenge tour, in fact it wasn’t even close, when the Saints beat the Cowboys in New Orleans last year 49-17.

So now it seems revenge is hardly at the forefront of Ryans’s mind, more so the need to get the 1-2 Saints back to .500.

Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) breaks a tackle by Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Ernie Sims (59) during the third quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan reportedly stripped down his playbook last week as the Saints’ defense cut out all of their on field checks and adjustments. And as a result it worked great, players said they were able to play faster and more decisive against the Minnesota Vickings.

Though it wasn’t an easy move for the self proclaimed “film rat” who prides himself on being one of the NFL’s most sophisticated schemers, he agreed it was definitely the right choice for the team.

“When I was hired in New Orleans I came into something special,” Ryan said. “And I’m not going to screw it up. I’m going to work hard and get it right.”

Saints players said that the Ryan – Dallas connections hasn’t even been anywhere on the radar this week… revenge is not a factor, its just a simple “WIN” agenda, makes no difference who it is.

But that won’t stop the Cowboys from being a confident group heading into the rematch with the Saints’ defensive coordinator. Dallas seems to feel like with their improved offensive and Ryan’s “predictability,” revenge will be theirs this season.

“I know he’s going to double me. I know he is. But I’m ready for it.”-Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant

Cowboys’ wide receiver, Dez Bryant says he knows what’s coming Sunday night — He’s getting double-teamed.

Ryan learned a few things about the Pro Bowler when Ryan was the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, and that knowledge undoubtably helped plan the Saints tactics last year.

“I always had a good time with Coach Ryan,” Bryant said. “He’s still one of my favorites to this day. I know he’s going to double me. I know he is. But I’m ready for it.”

Ryan had the Saints defense double Bryant throughout last year’s 49-17 Cowboys loss in New Orleans. Bryant finished with one catch for 44 yards.

But judging by how Dallas has been running the ball with the NFL’s leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, it might be difficult for the Saints to bracket Bryant the way they did last season.

“DeMarco is turning straight beast mode,” Bryant said. “If they want to keep doubling [me], DeMarco will just run for 150 or 200 more [yards].”

Without a doubt, the Cowboys are focused on flipping the script Sunday night, but head coach Jason Garrett said last year’s film still has a purpose, for motivation if anything else.

“I think it’s probably more of a teaching tool. You watch the tape and you try to evaluate just like you would any other previous experience you would have with a team,” Garrett said. “If you can get anything from it, from a scheme standpoint or a personnel standpoint, you certainly try to use that. It was not a good game for us. Their team is different. Our team is different. We’re focused on this game on Sunday.”

However the Saints have a lot fueling them as well this season outside of whatever revenge feud there may or may not be between the Cowboys and Ryan. After suffering from a not so stellar start to the season, the most important item on the teams agenda is to get their record back.

“I’m sure I’ll be cheered heavily when I get there,” Ryan said sarcastically about Sundays’ game. “But look, this time we’ve got a lot to prove too. We’re working on recovering from a rough start to the season. We’re working hard on defense and we want, no we need, to get better. We will be better.”