Stop if you've heard this one before – the Rams are hiring Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator. Nothing's official yet. But this time the Rams are hiring Ryan, and it could be made official as early as today when Ryan is due in town. The brother of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and son of legendary NFL coach Buddy Ryan interviewed with Rams coach Jeff Fisher last week. Fisher has known the Ryan family since his days as a safety with the Chicago Bears in the early 1980s. It is debatable — some around the NFL would say highly debatable — whether Ryan can take a Rams defense that flirted with top 10 status in 2012 to the next step. In nine seasons as a defensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders, Ryan has had only one top 10 defense and never has been a coordinator on a playoff team. Recently fired by Dallas, Ryan's defenses had anywhere between nine and 13 players on the field at various times with the Cowboys. Observers in Dallas felt it was difficult to know what the Cowboys' defense stood for because it did so many things. Dallas head coach Jason Garrett said recently that one of the reasons Ryan was fired was because the defense didn't produce many turnovers — the Cowboys had only 16 in 2012, which tied for 27th in the league. There's also the question of whether Ryan will be able to run a 3-4 scheme in St. Louis, although he has had earlier experience running the 4-3. The Rams clearly have 4-3 personnel. But in conversations with coaches and scouts at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., the feeling by many is that Fisher can help soften some of Ryan's excesses — keeping him more organized and less emotional. No one doubts that Ryan has a bright football mind – creative and aggressive. Position coaches who have worked with him say he treats his assistants well, lets them do their job and invites input. And the weekly media sessions by the new defensive coordinator could be standing room only every Thursday at Rams Park. Like the rest of his family, Rob Ryan can be boastful and flamboyant, and he is liable to say just about anything.
Rams are set to hire Rob Ryan
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 25