Top stories 2013: #1 Sean Payton returns to the Saints, hires Rob Ryan
Dave Cohen Reporting
After a one year suspension, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton came back to the team to start 2013. He immediately fired the defensive coordinator he had hired in 2012 and hired Rob Ryan to turn around a defense that was the worst in the history of the NFL under Steve Spagnuolo.
Payton's return from the "Bounty Gate" suspension had an immediate and very positive impact on team.
"We’re all chomping at the bit. (We’re) Obviously excited to have Coach Payton back" Brees said about Payton's return.
It definitely showed.
Ryan joining the coaching staff was huge too.
The Saints defense went from dead last in terms of yards allowed in 2012, giving up more than 7,000 yards to opposing offenses, to a top five defense in 2013. The Saints defense under Ryan allowed fewer than 5,000 yards in 2013.
The Saints thrived with Payton coming back, opening the season with a perfect 5 - 0 record in 2013. In 2012, the Black and Gold lost their first four games... getting their first win in week 5.
New Orleans only won 7 games in the 2012 season; they had done that after just 9 games in 2013.
In 2012 the Saints failed to make the playoffs without Payton and Ryan. In 2013, the Black and Gold came within one win of winning the NFC South, but had to settle for a wildcard berth in the postseason.