The wait and the mystery are over.
Today, Sean Payton announced that, as some early rumors had it, the Saints have indeed hired former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to replace Steve Spagnuolo. The team also hired Stan Kwan as assistant special teams coordinator.
In the words of Coach Payton, via the team's official web site:
"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."
A detailed bio of Ryan's history appears in the team's news release, as does this quote from Ryan on the hiring:
"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. I have a ton of respect for Mr. Benson, Mickey (Loomis) and the organization and I'm ready to get to work on all facets of the game. This is a great opportunity and we're getting started right away."
I don't know squat about new assistant special teams coordinator Kwan, but the release notes that he has coached for 23 years in the NFL, and he was most recently with the Buffalo Bills as an ASTC (2010-2012).
Larry Holder has a piece about the hirings on nola.com, too.
No information was forthcoming about the secondary coach position, so maybe Ryan will get to help make that call.
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OK, now we know who the new man is at DC for the Saints. Many of you were a bit leery of this prospect earlier this week, and how do you feel now that it's for real? Let's start wrapping our heads around this reality in the comment section.