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Sean Payton calls Rob Ryan “passionate” and “confident”


Saints coach Sean Payton didn’t know Rob Ryan well before considering him as a candidate to become the team’s new defensive coordinator. But now Payton is getting to know Ryan, and he likes what he’s learning.

Payton told Mike Florio that he expects Ryan’s approach to the game to make the Saints’ defense better.

“I spent a lot of time in researching Rob because we really didn’t know each other that well,” Payton said. “I kept hearing ‘passionate,’ ‘loyal,’ I kept hearing ‘confident,’ the players really play hard for him, and all of those qualities I think will be important for our defense. This is a game about passion and that’s what we’re looking for, you know players anybody in the building really in the framework of football operations we want them to have passion about their jobs. I think he has that and then really that guy that comes to work with the idea that the glass is half full and is looking forward to his next challenge. Now it’s up to us to try to as best we can through this free agency period and in the draft help our defense as much as we can and then pay close attention to what our players do well. I think that’s the most important element.”

Ryan is taking over a terrible defense that derailed the Saints’ 2012 season. Payton sounds confident that Ryan is going to turn things around.