The Norman Transcript

National Sports

November 6, 2013

Hatcher figures Saints’ coordinator Ryan will be stoked to see Cowboys


IRVING, Texas —

Ryan was gone a little more than a week later, and just three days after that, Garrett declared the Cowboys were switching back to a more traditional four-man front under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Ever since, Garrett has tried to make one thing clear: It wasn’t personal.

“I love Rob Ryan,” said Garrett, who hired him in 2011 as the fiery counterpart to Garrett’s button-downed public persona and has kept in touch with Ryan. “He is a fantastic person. He is a fantastic coach. And has been for a long time.”

The statistics say so in New Orleans, when they didn’t for two years in Dallas.

The Saints have risen from 31st to fifth in scoring defense, and they’re just one takeaway shy of the 16 the Cowboys had last season. Dallas tied a franchise low with seven interceptions, and New Orleans already has nine.

“I would imagine he probably wouldn’t trade it (being in New Orleans), and how much we appreciate him being here,” Brees said. “Certainly he’s done a great job for our team — a big part of our team, big part of our success.”

Brees knows the feeling of facing a team that didn’t want him anymore, and Ryan can only hope it goes as well against the Cowboys.

Brees threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in a 37-32 win over San Diego at home three years after the Chargers chose Philip Rivers over him.

“Any time a guy gets fired from a spot he’s at and he has an opportunity to play them, he wants to prove a point,” Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis said. “They know that. We know that.”

And Hatcher knows that. But he’ll still be reaching out to the boss who helped make him a full-time time starter for the first time after five years in the league — possibly before the game and definitely afterward.

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