Rob Ryan Morris Claiborne

Former Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (left) and former LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne

Dez Bryant may be a free agent, but he's not without his supporters. 

Count former Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan among them for the free agent receiver who was released after nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. 

Ryan, who served as the defensive coordinator for the Saints from 2013-'15, explained how he -- as a coach for the Cowboys -- witnessed the "beginning of the end" of former LSU star Morris Claiborne's career. 

"He's a wild horse. That's what he is. Believe me, I made the mistake of putting a first year corner on him the first day of practice and Dez Bryant punked him, knocked him down so bad he had a terrible career. He's still playing but he's not any good," Ryan said. "That was the beginning of the end. That was the dumbest thing I ever did." 

Ryan didn't specifically name the former LSU defensive back in his comments on Undisputed, but research by USA Today identified him as the player in question. 

Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys in 2011 and 2012 before manning the same position for the Saints. Ryan was fired after leading New Orleans to the worst-ranked defense in the NFL in 2015 and went on to serve as an assistant with the Buffalo Bills in 2016. In 2017 he was hired by Fox Sports as a radio analyst. 

Claiborne, the No. 6 overall pick out of LSU in 2012, played for the Cowboys through the end of his rookie contract in 2016. He signed a one-year contract with the Jets for the 2017 season and signed an extension for the 2018 season in March. Claiborne has five interceptions and 194 tackles over his six NFL seasons.