WWLTV- "Lay off my coach!" he screamed after overhearing fellow cornerback Corey White being asked about Ryan. "Anyone got a problem ask me. Ain't none of it on him. Tell them I said 'ain't none of it.'"
On Wednesday, safety Kenny Vaccaro offered an impassioned defense of Ryan. Thursday, White likewise championed his defensive coordinator, fighting to get a word in over Lewis' remarks.
"They need to lay off of him because it ain't all on him," White said. "Whatever call he makes, it's up to the players to make it work. There's no bad call. Players make coaches. It's a players' league, plain and simple. Yeah they need to lay off him. It's 99 percent the players' fault."
Lewis popped up from his locker, interrupting White before he could even finish his statement. Lewis had plenty more to say. He wasn't done – not by a long shot.
"I'm gonna keep it real with ya, I'm gonna take over this," he said interjecting himself into the conversation.
"Blame us (the players)," an emotional Lewis insisted. "(Rob Ryan), that's just my guy. He's the best of the best. You gotta take it sometimes, but he know. I'm tired of them blaming my coach because it's not him.
"So all these fans and all these people want to know: It's not my coach, so you all lay off of him. I'm very hot. I'm hot. Tell them I'm steamed up about that. I'm really hot about that. I don't like that."
"My thing is this: last year he was the greatest addition ever. Now this year, things aren't going in our favor, (and all you hear is) get him out of here, he's not a good coach. That's crazy," Lewis said. "I've never seen anything like that. You just don't give up on nobody because things not going right all the time.
"Like I tell them, (fans) have bad days at work sometimes. It's not just on person (responsible for the struggles)."
"I think that it's very wrong and that just lets you know true fans and people that really know football," he said. "You can't just pinpoint one person and say, 'Oh, it must be him, it ain't working.' Man, no, that's just crazy because last year when things were going good people were saying 'This guy is the best thing the Saints could have ever done.'"
It's about damn time. Look, I know how professional sports work. On top of being responsible for the game from a strategic standpoint, a coaches job is also to consistently fall on the grenade for his players. Let's keep it real. Rob Ryan has been getting a lot of unjust criticism this year. Yes, the same guy that last year turned the worst defense in the history of professional sports into top 5 in the NFL. What has really changed from last year? Before the season you could easily say this defense is more talented than last years. I don't claim to be an x's and o's guy, but I can tell you what I see with my own eyes. Missed tackles, a spotty (if not anemic) pass rush, and bunch of players that have a problem locating the ball in the air. Does anyone really believe that all falls on the shoulders of the defensive coordinator? I doubt missing tackles is part of the game plan. I doubt Rob Ryan is telling his players not to get to the quarterback. Has he taken some risks that have backfired? Sure, what D-coordinator hasn't. He's trusted some players in one on one situations that probably haven't earned that trust. That's the nature of football. You're not always going to guess right. The fans that want him fired for a lousy 12 games are the same ones that sung his praises after a mostly stellar 18 games.
I'm glad Keenan Lewis stuck up for Coach Ryan, and he's absolutely right. Far too many players have been put in position to make plays this season and have failed in miserable fashion. It's refreshing to see a player reroute the blame to himself. People can see what they choose. A lot of people have made a fuss over the interaction between Sean Payton and Rob Ryan on the sidelines. It's easy to pick apart that behavior when the team isn't winning. Truth is, if you look back at the close games they won last year, their rapport was very similar. They are fiery competitors that are battling for the same result at the end of the day. I think Rob Ryan fits too well in New Orleans to be canned after what looks to be an anomaly of a season. I don't know what changed in the offseason, but these player's must have had their tires pumped a little too much. I see a far bigger difference in their play on the field than the plays being called from the sidelines.
P.S. This is why Keenan Lewis is the heart and soul of The New Orleans Saints. He is in NOLA for all the right reasons. Trains hard, plays harder. Accepts responsibility not only for himself, but for his defense as a whole.