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Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has withdrawn his name from the Saints' defensive coordinator search.
Grantham was an apparent finalist along with ex-Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Profootballtalk.com reported this week that a Saints deal with Ryan is "basically done," signaling that Grantham will stay in the college ranks. Fri, Feb 8, 2013 06:52:00 PM

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A source tells ProFootballTalk.com that Rob Ryan's deal with the Saints to become their defensive coordinator is "basically" done.

The Saints are still expected to interview Georgia DC Todd Grantham on Thursday before meeting with Ryan on Friday. But barring (another) swift change of direction from Ryan, expect this deal to be consummated by the weekend. Both ESPN's Adam Schefter and now PFT are reporting identically.
Wed, Feb 6, 2013 08:13:00 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Saints plan to hire Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator.

However, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports Georgia DC Todd Grantham will interview for the job on Thursday before Ryan meets with Sean Payton and company on Friday. The TP's Larry Holder insists Ryan's hiring isn't a "done deal." Schefter's report strongly suggests Ryan is the choice to replace Steve Spagnuolo, but as Ryan's flirtation with the Rams proved, it won't be official until his name is signed on the dotted line. The Saints are switching from a 4-3 defense to 3-4 scheme in 2013, and few assistants have more experience overseeing a 3-4 than Ryan.
Tue, Feb 5, 2013 09:06:00 PM

NFL.com's Gil Brandt is "hearing" the Saints top defensive coordinator candidates are ex-Cowboys DC Rob Ryan and ex-Chiefs HC Romeo Crennel.

This is the first official link of Ryan to the Saints. Crennel has been associated with the opening ever since Steve Spagnuolo was fired two weeks ago. Coach Sean Payton is dead-set on switching to the 3-4, and although these two may not have led dominant recent defenses, they're well-known and are veterans of the 3-4 scheme. The Saints are expected to heat up the hiring process this week.
Tue, Feb 5, 2013 01:22:00 PM

Coach Sean Payton said the Saints' search for a defensive coordinator will pick up after the Super Bowl.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune has added four more potential candidates to the list: 49ers LBs coach Jim Leavitt, Ravens LBs coach Ted Monachino, Browns LBs coach Billy Davis, and ex-Cowboys DC Rob Ryan. Ryan is obviously the most recognizable name, and he joins Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini as rumored veteran candidates. The Saints and the Eagles seem to be linked to the same names as they both attempt to transition to the 3-4.
Thu, Jan 31, 2013 04:05:00 PM

The New Orleans Times-Picayune says 49ers DL coach Jim Tomsula and DBs coach Ed Donatell "could be" options for the Saints' defensive-coordinator vacancy.

Donatell's name has already been linked to the DC jobs in New Orleans and Philadelphia, while both he and Tomsula acknowledge they'd like to try their hand at coordinating again. Tomsula has been in San Francisco for the last six years. He served as interim head coach in 2010 after Mike Singletary was fired.
Tue, Jan 29, 2013 06:31:00 PM

SI's Peter King believes Romeo Crennel is the favorite to become the Saints' defensive coordinator.

After Sean Payton fired Steve Spagnuolo on Thursday, there was a barrage of information on Friday how the Saints were interested in Crennel and another former Patriot in Eric Mangini. Over the weekend, though, things went quiet. We should learn more this week on which direction the Saints are leaning.
Mon, Jan 28, 2013 08:35:00 AM

Profootballtalk reports the Saints have "more interest" in Romeo Crennel than Eric Mangini for their defensive-coordinator vacancy.

This piggybacks an early Adam Schefter report that indicated both Crennel and Mangini could wind up with the Saints. Mangini hasn't been on a sideline in two years, so Crennel could be a short-term solution while Mangini eases into the long-term coordinator job. They are both career proponents of the 3-4.
Fri, Jan 25, 2013 05:11:00 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Saints will consider adding Eric Mangini and Romeo Crennel to their 2013 defensive staff.

Schefter suggests Crennel and Mangini "could go together" to New Orleans, with one serving as defensive coordinator. Crennel and Mangini have familiar backgrounds as Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick disciples, respectively. They were both on staff when Belichick's Patriots won three Super Bowls.
Fri, Jan 25, 2013 03:02:00 PM

The New Orleans Times-Picayune mentions Winston Moss, Ken Norton Jr., and Ed Donatell as three names to watch for the Saints' defensive-coordinator vacancy.

Moss is a former Saints assistant who is currently assistant head coach/LBs coach with the Packers. Norton Jr. is the linebackers coach with the Seahawks and has coached under Pete Carroll since 2004. Donatell, the 49ers DBs coach, has been mentioned as a front-runner for the Eagles' DC opening. Head coach Sean Payton has said he's in no hurry to name a replacement for Steve Spagnuolo, while he also said they could tap into the college ranks in their search for a new defensive boss.
Fri, Jan 25, 2013 10:02:00 AM

Profootballtalk mentions Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini as potential defensive-coordinator options for the Saints.

PFT isn't basing this off of anything other than the Sean Payton-Bill Parcells connection, but they both do have experience running the 3-4 defense that the Saints are transitioning to. Since nobody on the current staff knows the 3-4, going outside the organization is probably the most realistic option.
Thu, Jan 24, 2013 07:25:00 PM

Saints fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and DBs coach Ken Flajole.

It was hard to not see this coming after head coach Sean Payton's quotes earlier in the day, saying that there was a "painful" meeting on the agenda for Thursday afternoon. Payton has probably been waiting for this day after sitting at home watching his embarrassing defense set a single-season NFL record in yards allowed. "Philosophically we are changing our defense to a 3-4 alignment and right now is the best time to accomplish this transition," said Payton. DE Cameron Jordan is a solid building block for the new scheme change, coming off an eight-sack season. The Saints are bone-dry on pass rushers, so look for them to target some on the free agent market and/or in the draft.
Thu, Jan 24, 2013 06:39:00 PM

The New Orleans Times-Picayune believes the Saints will consider using more 3-4 looks on defense in 2013.

The Saints ran a strict 4-3 under DC Steve Spagnuolo in 2012 and went on to set the league record for most yards allowed in a season, so it can't hurt to try. The thing is, Spagnuolo is a firm believer in the 4-3 and rarely ever switches his fronts. The Times-Picayune seems to think Spags' job is safe, but newly reinstated head coach Sean Payton has given no indication. Payton says he'll start meeting with staff on Thursday, "This meeting we have here this afternoon, it's going to be painful. And we've got a lot of tough meetings coming ahead. That's what 7-9 is."
Thu, Jan 24, 2013 01:27:00 PM

One anonymous Saints player tells the Times-Picayune that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo should be fired.

The Saints set the league record for most yards allowed in a season, giving up a jaw-dropping 440.1 per game. They also ranked 31st in yards allowed, 29th in sacks, 31st in pass defense and dead last against the run. "He does have that good-guy persona, but he is a control freak and treats people like crap," the player said. "(Spagnuolo has) no patience and zero personality. (He) has a way of pissing players and our defensive coaches off with how he says and does things. ... Don't even get me started on lack (of) ability to adjust during games. Bad, bad, bad."
Wed, Jan 2, 2013 11:09:00 AM

The Saints are the first defense to give up 400 or more yards in each of their first seven games.

It's a humiliating stat. The Saints are yielding a mind-boggling 474.7 yards per game, 50 more than the 31st-ranked Bills. The Broncos went over 500 yards on Sunday night, the third time that has happened to the Saints this season. Assuming Michael Vick starts against this defense next Monday night, he'll have to torch them and win the game. Otherwise, the Eagles will have to take a long look at rookie backup Nick Foles.
Mon, Oct 29, 2012 08:03:00 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Drew Brees
2Luke McCown
RB1Mark Ingram
2Pierre Thomas
3Khiry Robinson
4Travaris Cadet
GLB1Mark Ingram
2Khiry Robinson
3RB1Pierre Thomas
2Mark Ingram
FB1Erik Lorig
WR11Kenny Stills
2Nick Toon
3Jalen Saunders
WR21Marques Colston
2Robert Meachem
3Seantavius Jones
WR31Nick Toon
TE1Jimmy Graham
2Ben Watson
3Josh Hill
K1Shayne Graham
2Dustin Hopkins