The New Orleans Saints have struggled to find consistency in all areas this season and have their depressingly poor NFC South division rivals to thank for having any chance at making the 2014 postseason.
It looks increasingly likely however that, regardless of how the franchise fare over the next few months, the Saints will be relieving a key member of their staff of his duties in the offseason.
As reported by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, New Orleans are set to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after the season is out after his relationship with long-time head coach Sean Payton has turned sour.
Per La Canfora:
"The relationship between Saints head coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been rapidly deteriorating this season, with it privately acknowledged within the team’s headquarters that the men strongly dislike each other and a change is inevitable this offseason."
Ryan's inability to generate an efficient and imposing defense this season is also unlikely to have helped his cause amongst the Saints hierarchy.
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Ryan enjoyed some success after arriving at the franchise in 2013, dumping the team's 4-3 defensive system in favor of a 3-4 scheme.
But this season the Saints appear near the bottom in virtually every defensive category while numerous run ins with Payton have brought the situation to a head.
Indeed La Confora describes a "hatred" between the two coaches that has grown over this season. Fans of the franchise may have had a sense of this watching on with Ryan and Payton arguing on the sidelines becoming a more common sight as the weeks go on.
What do you think Saints fans? Is Ryan the major issue or are there bigger problems that have led to the 2014 slump?