METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints defensive players praise new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan not just for his aggressive, fun-loving approach, but also for his genuine interest in players' opinions about what works best for them.

Ryan says his confidence as a coach is what makes him secure enough to give players a say in the game plan.

He says his philosophy developed from being around the NFL most of his life. His father is Buddy Ryan, who coached championship defenses with the New York Jets and Chicago Bears, and later served as head coach for Philadelphia and Arizona.

Safety Roman Harper says Ryan understands that schemes fail when players are not comfortable with them.

Ryan was hired to turn around a defense that allowed a league-record 7,042 yards last season.