Rob Ryan walked out the Valley Ranch doors with his head held high.
“Whatever people suggest, it doesn’t mean a crap to me,” Ryan told reporters in New Orleans on Friday. “I know I’m a great coach. Whatever it is, it is. What I said on Dallas on my way out, there’s a couple of better coaches than me who have been fired. Not many, but there is a couple. That’s just the way it is.”
He insists he holds no hate for the Cowboys after his firing in January. Ryan spent two seasons as Jason Garrett's defensive coordinator."I think my dad [Buddy] had genuine hate for Dallas, and I don’t," Ryan said.
In Ryan’s second season as defensive coordinator, the Cowboys last year set a team record for most yards allowed in a season and had only 16 takeaways. They are on pace to give up even more yards this season, though they have 21 takeaways in nine games.
The Saints gave up the most yards in NFL history last season, prompting them to hire Ryan. He has them ranked ninth overall, and they have 15 takeaways.
At the Senior Bowl, Garrett mentioned a lack of takeaways as a reason for Ryan's dismissal. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show Friday that the Cowboys sought a less aggressive defensive approach than Ryan's.
Dallas switched from the 3-4 to the 4-3 this season, hiring Tampa 2 defensive guru Monte Kiffin.
Ryan held his tongue in check for the most part Friday, taking few shots at the Cowboys. But he said he is unsure why he was fired.
“Hey, I have read so many things, I don’t care to read them anymore,” Ryan said. “Whatever it was, I’m sure it was a great decision on everybody’s part.”
-- Charean Williams