Earlier this week, we pointed out the curious failure of teams who are lining up a broad array of head-coaching candidates to give even a sniff to the man who has turned around a historically bad defense in New Orleans, despite changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and losing multiple players this year due to injury.
So we asked Saints coach Sean Payton whether he’s surprised defensive coordinator Rob Ryan hasn’t drawn any interest. Here’s what he said, in an interview that was partially televised last night on NBCSN and that will be played in its entirety during Wednesday’s PFT Live.
“I think he’s going to be a head coach,” Payton said of Ryan. “I think he’s got a personality that starts with being passionate about the game. He’s also exceptional within the framework of the staff and I think as owners and General Managers look closely at candidates, there’s a handful of things that would be important and compatibility ranks right there at the top.
“So he’s someone that is very well liked within the building from the business side to the football side. I think he’s got a great way about getting the players to play hard, making it exciting and putting them in the best positions possible and again communicating that message with his staff. It’s been a team effort on that side of the ball and I think that here’s a guy that grew up around football and those experiences are invaluable.”
The knock on Ryan seems to come in part from his Sons-of-Anarchy-meets-Boys-of-Fall appearance, and in part from the belief that, as a head coach, he’d be Rex Ryan without a restrictor plate.
A finalist three years ago for the head-coaching job in Carolina, the notion that Rob Ryan hasn’t even made the exhaustive list in Washington seems odd, unless there was an incident between Buddy Ryan and Bruce Allen’s father, George, that we don’t know about.
While Rob Ryan may not be on anyone’s list right now, it’ll be interesting to see what happens if Ryan can put together a game plan that takes down the Seahawks in their own building on Saturday.