He might not have solely picked the groceries, but the Saints’ Rob Ryan believes he has the ingredients for a good defense _lowres

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


PHOENIX — Rex Ryan wants his players to believe in himself so much that if he says he has the social security number for the unknown soldier, they’ll believe him blindly.

And once those words pass through the Buffalo Bills coach’s mouth and hit the air, he’ll believe them himself. That’s how confident he is in his talents as a head coach. It comes from his upbringing and learning from his father, Buddy Ryan, who was one of the more confident men to pass through the NFL coaching ranks.

Rex Ryan sees the same qualities in his brother, Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. He believes his brother has the talent and knowledge to one day become a head coach, but believes some things are holding him back.

“Absolutely. So much so that he believes in himself so much he won’t get a haircut and keeps that belly the way it is,” Rex Ryan said. “He’s darned determined to show the league that ‘I’m going to be a head coach and do it my way.’ No you’re not. It’s unfortunate. I’m still trying to get that message across to him.”

Rob Ryan is widely considered to be one of the more brilliant defensive minds in the NFL, but he came upon hard times last season when the Saints finished 31st in the NFL in yards and 28th in points allowed. In 2013, Rob Ryan’s first in New Orleans, the Saints finished in the top five in defense.

Despite speculation about his future, Rob Ryan will remain with the Saints this season. The team did, however, hire Dennis Allen to help oversee the defense and serve as an assistant to Rob Ryan. It also appears the organization believes some of the downfall was due to a lack of talent.

General manager Mickey Loomis has a stated goal of improving the defense and traded away key players on offense, such as tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Kenny Stills, to acquire more draft picks, which will allow the team to address some needs on defense.