If you look at those first five games we had started to give up a lot of points in the Chicago game (offensive was a heavy contributor) and the Baltimore game. Perhaps they just learned their defense was not good enough on the back end for all these sell out rushes. We were far from dominant in sacks, turnovers and points allowed even with Lee on the field.
Rather, I think Ryan learned that he didn't have the players to execute this style of defense - he just doesn't have the corners to do it. Nevertheless, with his strength in the front 7 and decent coverage on the back end they can stop offenses if they don't give up big plays by eventually just shutting down some plays via a key stuff, open field tackle, sack/pressure or even a turnover.
So I would say Ryan has done a good job coaching through some player shortcomings and some injuries to still put a good but not great defense on the field. I think the defensive coaches have done a good job even though they blew another lead last week.