New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Post-Practice Media Availability
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Your defense seems to be much more comfortable in year two of your system.
"I'll tell you, today wasn't our best. That offense was rolling. But no, I think we know what we're doing more. We looked at a few things today that didn't look real good that were a little bit new, but our guys are working hard, they're smart, they really want to be great."
How much growth have you seen from Kenny Vaccaro?
"He's one of our smarter players, and he's one of our leaders. He's had great growth. Coming back from that injury is awesome, to get him back out there. He looks great to me. Tomorrow will be his type of day, we got the pads on. He loves to play. He'll be excited and he'll be running around doing some things. The nice thing with Kenny is that he knows every position. With a guy like that, they're invaluable to your defense."
What have you seen from Patrick Robinson?
"He's looking great. He's competing with Champ (Bailey) and Corey White, so that will be a great competition all camp. We're blessed to have some really good football players, and Patrick looks great."
Did it surprise you how smooth he has looked so far after missing almost all of last year with an injury?
"He's always looked smooth. He's a unique guy. He's a tall guy that can bend, and those guys are really rare. He's in great shape, he's worked hard all offseason, so we're excited about him and the things he's going to bring for us."
Have you seen that players who suffer an injury like that find it hard to adjust mentally when they return?
"Oh yeah, there's no question. I guess he's been through a couple of those before. But he looks great to me, like he's never had any trouble or any problems at all."
How much better as a coach from year one to year two do you feel like you can be?
"I think I have to be a lot better. The nice thing is, with our staff, it's easy to be really good. We've got to be better. We've got to learn our team as fast as we can. I think that's the biggest thing. Preseason is making sure you keep the right players, and evaluating them, getting their strengths, and finding out exactly our identity on defense. Every year is different. We've got a lot to prove this year, and we're looking forward to the challenge."
How excited are you to have Victor Butler ready to go?
"We're definitely wanting to see him out there with pads. Again, there's a guy coming off injury that we've got to see how he's going to do, how he's going to progress and things like that. We're excited about that, can't wait to see him play, see him rush the passer, do the things we know he's capable of."
Is Corey White a guy you can see moving around the secondary a little bit?
"I think so. He really excelled for us as an inside player. Last year he started about six games for us at outside corner. Again, he's another smart guy that's got a lot of talent, so he can play multiple spots for us."
Have you been hammering home creating turnovers with the guys out here?
"Absolutely. We're doing everything we can. We've got to be better at it. That was a weakness for us last year. We've identified it, we're trying to coach it better than we did last year. We're trying to play it better than we did last year. It has to pay off for us. We need to improve in that area if we want to be a great defense."
Does it ever get old for you that you're this cult hero in New Orleans?
"I'd rather be a hero than a goat. Hell, I want to make sure we do the right thing. I love New Orleans, and it just happens to be an awesome city and they seem to appreciate just a good guy."
It seems like your hair has gotten a little longer.
"I'm going to get it cut. It's too long. I waited a little too long this year, but I'll be getting it cut when I get back."
What did you guys like about Brandon Deaderick?
He's a good solid player. He's played nose, he's played end and tackle. He's a good football player, and we're excited about him. He's got to make strides in our system, but I think he will. I think he's a smart guy and he's got good toughness and I'm looking forward to seeing him out there with the pads on."
How concerning to you is the Jairus Byrd situation right now?
"Well I know he's working hard. He's doing everything he can, and I'm sure everything will work out. It's not concerning to me. I know he's in great hands and we're going to do the right thing. We're always doing the right thing here with the Saints. We're taking our time with him because we can."
Your brother said that he was surprised that with your success last year, no team interviewed you for a head coaching position. Is that kind of a chip on your shoulder?
"I've been coaching a long time, and I've been an assistant for a long time. I've never been a head coach. When people want to give me that opportunity, that will be great. Until then, I want to whip ass and be a great assistant."