Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun reports that former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan could interview for the Falcons head coaching position sometime next week.
Ryan, 45, replaced Mike Nolan, now head coach of the San Francisco 49ers as the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2005. Ryan was able to continue a long tradition of strong defensive play by the Ravens, as they finished in the Top 6 in each of the past three seasons in total defense. However, after finishing first a year ago in both total and scoring defense, the Ravens dropped to 22nd this past year in the latter category. Ryan was fired from the Ravens when the team dismissed their entire staff following the dismissal of head coach Brian Billick. For the Ravens 2006 defensive success, Ryan earned honors as the league’s top assistant coach. Ryan is also considered to be a candidate for the vacant Ravens head position due to the strong support he receives from the current players.
Ryan served as an asssistant with the Ravens for six seasons prior to his promotion. He had previous NFL experience as a defensive line and linebackers coach with the Arizona Cardinals in 1994 and 1995 under his father, Buddy Ryan. Ryan’s other experience has been primarily as a collegiate defensive coordinator, coaching at Oklahoma (1998), Cincinnati (1996-97), Morehead State (1990-93), New Mexico Highlands (1989), and as a defensive ends coach at Eastern Kentucky (1987-88). He has a twin brother named Rob, formerly the Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator.