After Rob Ryan was fired by the Cowboys, he boasted that he’d be out of work for “like five minutes.” It took a while longer, but Ryan made up for it by working for the Rams for “like five minutes.”
Yes, the 3-4 specialist initially took a job with the Rams, who run a 4-3. It apparently ended up being a safety-net position until the job Ryan really wanted became available.
Via Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Ryan explained Friday that he targeted the Saints as soon as he was fired by the Cowboys — even though the Saints still had a defensive coordinator. Ryan called former Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to try to get a foot in the door with a team that, like the Rams, had been using a 4-3.
“I said, ‘Hey man, I don’t know what’s going to happen there, but can you talk to Sean [Payton]?’ Well he couldn’t,” Rob Ryan said, referring to Payton’s one-year suspension, which as of early January hadn’t been lifted. “Nobody could. So I was like damn because that would be the perfect spot for me.”
So, basically, Ryan tried to get a job another man had, before abandoning another job after that man was eventually fired.
While Rams coach Jeff Fisher said this week that Ryan “made a commitment” to St. Louis, Ryan said he had signed nothing.
“Getting fired in Dallas was a shock to my system, and I was a little pissed off,” Ryan said. “I took a job with the Rams and hadn’t had anything signed and then just from being there and finding out the direction of how they wanted to do things, it was my obligation not only to me but to them to just walk away and look for something different.”
The unanswered question is whether Ryan knew he had something different in hand before ditching the Rams. Payton was reinstated in January, and his first order of business was to fire Steve Spagnuolo on January 24. Later that same day (coincidentally or not), final word emerged that Ryan had struck a deal with the Rams.
Five days later, the Rams announced that Ryan wouldn’t be the team’s defensive coordinator. Roughly a week after that, Ryan was the new defensive coordinator in New Orleans.
It has worked out well for the Saints. The Rams, in contrast, have struggled on defense — especially against the pass.
While everyone is saying all the right things as a game between the Rams and Saints approaches, the visit from Ryan gives Fisher a chance to take out any possible lingering frustrations he may have as a result of Ryan’s short-term stay with the team.