It didn’t take long after Jay Gruden was fired in Washington for Rex Ryan to throw his hat in the ring.
Ryan, now an analyst for ESPN, was asked on the air whether anyone would really want to be the Washington head coach, given how dysfunctional the franchise has been.
“Of course,” Ryan said, via Earl Forcey of WJFK. “I would take it. . . . People are going to be lined up for this job.”
Ryan makes a good point: For all the talk that coaches wouldn’t want to work for Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen, the reality is there are only 32 NFL head-coaching jobs. There are many, many more people who want to be NFL head coaches than there are available jobs and beggars can’t be choosers.
Only a tiny number of coaches are in a good enough position that they can turn down an NFL head-coaching job. Sure, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can turn down the Colts because he’s 43 years old and Bill Belichick is 67 and McDaniels thinks showing loyalty to the Patriots gives him the best chance of being Belichick’s successor. But Ryan doesn’t have that luxury. He wants to be a head coach again and he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get another offer.
Plenty of other coaches will feel the same way if Snyder comes calling. Coaching in Washington may look like a dead-end job, but many coaches would consider it better than no job at all.