At 4-7, it’s fair to say the 2014 season for the New Orleans Saints is not going as expected. What’s even crazier is they’re still in line to win the NFC South and clinch a playoff berth with one home game. Even though the Saints reach the playoffs, it still seems like they will make a change at defensive coordinator by replacing Rob Ryan.
New Orleans ranks 23rd in the league in opponent passing yards per game (253.3) and opponent rushing yards per game (123.8). The defense even offers surrendered 29 touchdowns (17 passing and 12 rushing).
To make matters worse for Ryan, it is clearly the defense that’s keeping the team back this year because the offense has put up solid numbers in the passing and running game. For that reason, head coach Sean Payton has been seen on several occasion screaming at Ryan on the sidelines. The frustration between the 2 men appears to have hit a boiling point, which doesn’t bode well for Ryan’s future in New Orleans.
Even though Ryan is a favorite among the players and other coaches, it doesn’t excuse the fact the defense has not delivered just how Payton had expected when he hired Ryan to function as the defensive coordinator last season. Sure, Ryan was responsible for a much-improved defense in 2013, but a coach is only as good as the most recent performance of his players. Considering that the defense has underperformed in 2014, someone has to go, especially if the Saints fail to achieve the postseason in a division that’ll have successful with a sub-.500 record.
It is no secret that Payton has struggled with several defensive coordinators within the years. With having said that, he’s still the head coach who decides who stays and who goes. If Ryan cannot have the defense to play for a passing fancy level because the offense, this means a big change must certanly be made.