Sean Payton stands behind Rob Ryan

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton stuck up for embattled defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, saying his relationship with him is outstanding and denied reports that Ryan is going tobe fired.

Payton has been seen yelling at Ryan on the sideline several times this season.

"That's me, man," Payton said. "That's just me being fired up. It's more obvious when it's Rob because the camera's going to be on him more than it's going to be Greg McMahon or a player. Yeah, I get upset when there's 12 men on the field. That doesn't mean I'm looking for another defensive coach."

Ryan denied reports that Ryan is going to be fired.

"Those are the 'Sunday splash stories,'" Payton said. "When you're in this business, on Sunday you've got to have something that everyone reads regardless if it's truthful or not."

Payton praised Ryan heavily.

"Man, I'm telling you what, his toughness and his passion -- he's there 'til when the crickets are going," Payton said. "It's hard when you're not winning in this league. I love what he's doing. Are there times when we have to look at things? Are there times when I get involved? Absolutely, I'm the head coach. But he's doing an outstanding job.

"You really find out a little bit about everyone when you start losing a few games and you go through a little bit of adversity, because it really hasn't happened around here in a while. Those are the things you appreciate as a head coach. When someone is passionate about teaching, those are the things you appreciate."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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