Obviously Rex Ryan is a big Rob Ryan fan.
But after the job his fatter, hairier brother did as the Saints defensive coordinator this season, the Jets head coach figures appearances might be the only thing holding Rob back.
“You tell me one other reason why he doesn’t have a [head-coaching job] right now with the kind of job he did,” Rex told Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Maybe that’s it. I told him, ‘Dude, how about you go get a haircut? It makes no difference.’ I said, ‘You can wear the Fu Manchu if you’re bald.’
“I can’t explain it. Is it the hair? I don’t know. I’m trying to get him to get a haircut. Hopefully, this is one of the things that motivates him to do so.”
Rob Ryan was a finalist for the Panthers head coaching job three years ago (which went to Ron Rivera), but hasn’t gotten a whiff this offseason. He said recently he wouldn’t be pressured into a haircut.
The Saints went from the league’s worst defense of all time (as measured by yards allowed) to fourth in the league without a major influx of talent.
“It was one of, in my opinion, the greatest coaching jobs in the history of the National Football League,” Rex said. “You go from 32nd in the league, and they were closer to 33rd in the league than 31st, improve 130-something yards a game and 10 points a game. He doesn’t get an interview? They had more injuries than any team in the league. He had to make adjustments constantly based on personnel. I just thought it was one of the greatest coaching jobs. . . .
“It’s amazing. Everybody knows he can coach. I’m just really shocked he didn’t get an interview at least. I thought he’d get a [head-coaching] job. I guess it wasn’t his time. Hopefully, his time is coming.”
The family bombast (of which Rob got the bigger share) might be part of it too, but in this case, Rex’s reaction seems justified.