I have never been more confident about an upcoming season than I am right now. No, it's not the fact that the Saints will have a revamped offensive line protecting Drew Brees. No, it's not because they filled some glaring deficiencies in their secondary. And no, it's not even because they look to have drafted a couple of players that could contribute to the success of the team right away. My confidence stems from the fact that Rob Ryan looks to be enjoying New Orleans more and more every day. For those who have been paying attention over the years, the key to a successful season is the Saints defense. Especially with the consistent offensive capabilities under Sean Payton. If Rob Ryan can produce a defense that is as solid as the one he coached two seasons ago this team should reach it's potential as a championship contender.
Now some may question what Rob Ryan getting tipsy and dancing around a Greek festival has to do with producing a formidable defense. What does his presence at Mardi Gras, then St. Patty's, and then the Jazz Fest have to do with football? Those people need to understand a little concept we call motivation. If there is anything that Rob Ryan loves more than being a innovative defensive specialist it is eating, drinking, getting freaky with his cougar wife, and apparently dancing. What city could possibly offer up a better atmosphere for all of the above than New Orleans? It's no secret that Sean Payton has not hesitated to make changes to his defensive staff if they go more than a year without promising results. If Rob Ryan needed anymore of an incentive to turn his unit around after last year's debacle it's the prospect of losing the carefree lifestyle that NOLA provides him. After all, there may be 30 defensive coordinator jobs in the NFL, but there is only one New Orleans. There is only one Mardi Gras. There is only one fanbase that embodies everything that Rob Ryan stands for, and that fanbase is the Who Dat Nation. I have no doubt that Rob Ryan wants to be successful because of the pride he takes in his work and his desire to be great. However, the fact that another below average year means he will no longer spend the off season dancing around drunk in an oversized salmon blanket may prove to be the catalyst that is responsible for another party with the Lombardi.