When a coordinator takes on a new job with a new NFL team, they often bring with them a player or two from their previous team(s).
Pierson Prioleau is a perfect example of this. Prioleau followed Gregg Williams practically his entire career, from Buffalo to Washington to Jacksonville and to New Orleans. Steve Spagnuolo brought Chris Chamberlain to New Orleans after coaching him for three years in St. Louis.
So who might we expect Rob Ryan to bring with him to New Orleans now that he's found a new home here as defensive coordinator? That would be defensive end Kenyon Coleman, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Saints signed him during free agency this off-season.
Why am I so confident that this is a real possibility. Let me count the ways.
- Coleman will be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 12th.
- Coleman is a 3-4 defensive end. The Saints could use a true 3-4 defensive end right about now.
- The Cowboys are switching to the 4-3 this off-season, leaving Coleman out in the cold.
- Coleman played under Rob Ryan in Cleveland from 2009 to 2010.
- Coleman then followed Ryan to Dallas and played under him from 2011 to 2012.
Coleman is no spring chicken - a 33-year-old 11-year veteran of the NFL - and is coming off a season-ending triceps tear in 2012, so there's definitely some concern about whether he's still got anything left in the tank. But he's also got a reputation for being a selfless, quality character; just the kind of player the Saints like in their locker room. At the very least, Coleman could play the role of mentor for a Saints defense learning Rob Ryan's complicated 3-4 system.
So don't be surprised if you see the Saints sign Coleman sometime in the upcoming months. And if they do, don't forget who mentioned it first
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