Saints’ top candidates for DC are Rob Ryan, Crennel

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports that Rob Ryan and Romeo Crennel are the top candidates to be the Saints’ next defensive coordinator.

Ryan and Crennel both run the 3-4 defensive front Saints coach Sean Payton is switching to after firing first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Jan. 24.

Using Spagnuolo’s 4-3 alignment, the Saints finished last in the NFL in total defense in 2012 when they gave up 7,042 yards. That broke a dubious league record that was held for 31 years by the Baltimore Colts.

Ryan was fired by the Dallas Cowboys at the end of the season and Crennel, who won three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots as the boss of their 3-4 defense, was fired as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.