Saints’ Payton hires Rob Ryan as new defensive coordinator

Saints coach Sean Payton filled two of the five openings on his coaching staff Saturday morning with the hiring of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and assistant special teams coach Stan Kwan.

The hiring of Ryan, who was interviewed by Payton on Friday, was expected after Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham withdrew his name from consideration for the position Friday evening.

Grantham interviewed with the Saints on Thursday.

“I’m pleased the opportunity has presented itself for us to be able to add both Rob Ryan and Stan Kwan to our coaching staff,” Payton said in a team news release. “In regards to Rob, we have experience in preparing and playing against his defenses and they’ve always been challenging in terms of the different looks and pressures that they feature.

“We’ve had the chance to visit with each other and talk about our visions for our team and I’m excited about moving forward as we prepare for the 2013 season,” he said. “Rob is enthusiastic about joining our team and getting right to work.”

While there were five openings on his staff, Payton’s hiring of Ryan was an important piece to the puzzle as the Saints.

In announcing that he had fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Jan. 24, Payton said the team would change from the 4-3 front that’s been used since he arrived in 2006 to a 3-4 alignment after the Saints allowed an NFL-record 7,042 total yards in a 7-9 season.

Payton must still hire an offensive line coach, a secondary coach and an assistant defensive line coach to fill out his staff.