NEW ORLEANS - After about a week of speculation, the Saints have hired Rob Ryan as the team's defensive coordinator, the club announced Saturday.
The team also added Stan Kwan as assistant special teams coach.
'I'm pleased the opportunity has presented itself for us to be able to add both Rob Ryan and Stan Kwan to our coaching staff,' said Head Coach Sean Payton. 'In regards to Rob, we have experience in preparing and playing against his defenses and they've always been challenging in terms of the different looks and pressures that they feature. We've had the chance to visit with each other and talk about our visions for our team and I'm excited about moving forward as we prepare for the 2013 season. Rob is enthusiastic about joining our team and getting right to work. Stan is a veteran coach that understands all nuances of the special teams games and will work closely with Greg McMahon. He has a wealth of knowledge and I believe he will be a good fit on our staff.'
Ryan, who recently served in the same capacity with the Dallas Cowboys, is expected to install the 3-4 defense for Payton, whose Saints teams have relied on the 4-3.
'I am excited and thrilled to be joining the New Orleans Saints,' Ryan said. 'I have had the opportunity to get to know Sean Payton and his staff a bit better recently and I am excited about joining the team... This is a great opportunity and we're getting started right away.'
Under Ryan in 2011, Dallas' team defense improved to 14th overall in the NFL after finishing 23rd in 2010, ranking seventh against the run. In 2012, the Cowboys were one of only three teams in the NFL to have two players with 11 or more sacks, as LB DeMarcus Ware led the team with 11.5 and LB Anthony Spencer posted a career-high 11 takedowns.
Prior to joining the Cowboys staff, Ryan served as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns from 2009-10. In 2010, the Browns defense tied for eighth in the NFL with 19 interceptions, as six different players posted multiple picks to tie for the third-most players with two-or-more interceptions on a team that season. Ryan guided a pair of standout rookie defensive backs in Joe Haden who led the team in interceptions (5) and T.J. Ward, who led the Browns in tackles (105). On the ground, Cleveland allowed just seven rushing touchdowns, tied for fourth-fewest in the league. In Ryan's first season in Cleveland, the defense did not allow a touchdown in three games and the Browns posted 40 sacks, tied for eighth in the league.
Ryan's NFL coaching career began when he spent two seasons (1994-95) as the defensive backs coach under his father, Buddy, for the Arizona Cardinals, where they had the NFL's third ranked defense in 1994 and led the league with 42 takeaways in 1995.
Kwan comes to New Orleans for his 23rd year as an NFL assistant. He spent the past three seasons (2010-12) as the assistant special teams coach for the Buffalo Bills, where they ranked first in the NFL last season (2012) in punt return average (17.1 avg.) with two touchdowns and were fourth-best in the league in kick-off return average (27.0 avg.). He spent ten years with the Detroit Lions (1997-2000, 2004-09), including his final three seasons in charge of the club's special teams units and also had stints with the San Diego Chargers (1991-96) and Arizona Cardinals (2001-03). Under his guidance, the special teams units of each team Kwan has helped guide have been consistently well schooled and prepared. The Phoenix native played baseball at San Diego State for three years prior to joining the Chargers after graduation.