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Report: Broncos interview Rex Ryan for their defensive coordinator position

A surprise name has interviewed for the Broncos defensive job.

2017 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2 Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

According to NFL insider Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton interviewed Rex Ryan for his vacant defensive coordinator position. The current ESPN analyst has not coached since 2016 when he was the head coach of the Bills and has spent most of his time in a TV booth.

As Glazer notes, this is a bit of a surprise. Ryan has been out of the league for a while now and has not been connected to any NFL openings recently. This past year, Ryan served as a member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Countdown show and has been on various ESPN/NFL shows in the past as well.

When Ryan was in the league, he was viewed as one of the better defensive minds in the game. He was the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator from 2005 through 2008 and his defenses were dominant during those years. He then took over as the New York Jets Head Coach from 2009 to 2014 and also had some success on defense during those years as well. So, if hired, we should expect a bright defensive mind, however, it has been about a decade since Ryan was a relevant NFL coach.

What may have triggered this interview is Payton’s relationship with Rex Ryan’s brother Rob Ryan. He served as the Saints' defensive coordinator under Payton from 2013 to 2015. Payton could be using that prior connection to potentially bring in Rob Ryan's brother here in Denver.

It is unclear how strong of a candidate Ryan is for the Broncos job, but from what we know, he is one of two candidates currently going for that job. The other is Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach Sean Desai who interviewed for the job via zoom earlier in the week. No other candidates have been reported as being considered, but we shall see if any other names get an interview for this job.