On Sunday, former St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will pay his first visit to his old team. Ryan worked for the Rams for about three days, unofficially, since he never actually signed a contract to take the job. Jeff Fisher revisited the whole affair on Wednesday in a conference all with the New Orleans media.
The Rams head coach sounded an understanding tone when asked about Ryan's decision. From Mike Triplett, Saints beat reporter for ESPN:
"Well, you know, people sometimes in life change their mind. And I was fine with that. I had no problem. I want people to ... if he wanted to go there, fine. If he wanted to stay here, it was great. I thought we had ... we were obviously talking, and we spent a couple days together. And he had a change of heart. And that's fine. I respect him for that."
Ryan reportedly changed his mind about the Rams job because a mandate to stay with the 4-3 defense. He's spent most of his career as an NFL defensive coordinator using a three-man front. He would also have been working with an established group of assistants, i.e. guys he didn't choose.
Either way, it didn't happen. Ryan went to the Saints, a team that gave up a record number of yards to opponents last season. The Rams hired former Lions secondary and third down package coach Tim Walton.
This season, the Saints are allowing an average of 313.6 yards per game (ranked 5th) and 18.7 points per game (ranked 5th). The Rams defense under Walton is allowing 23.7 points per game (ranked 14th) and 357.6 yards per game (ranked 19th).
Ryan informed Fisher of his decision to leave the Rams by dropping his keys on Fisher's desk.
Wait, Ryan had keys to the building but no contract in place?