According to NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, Rex Ryan has emerged as a top candidate for the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator job. The former Jets and Bills head coach has been out of the league after being fired in 2016 but is known for being a defensive mastermind.
Comeback? Rex Ryan has emerged as a top candidate for the #Broncos defensive coordinator job, per me and @MikeGarafolo. Ryan has been on ESPN after being fired by the #Bills in 2016. If all goes well, he could be headed back in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/pkPzR7SY1D— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 16, 2023
It was reported earlier in the week that Rex Ryan was a surprise interview for the Broncos vacant defensive coordinator job and now he appears to be the favorite for the job.
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.
If hired by Payton, Ryan would give the Broncos a very experienced and talented defensive mind to run his defense. Ryan is known for being aggressive, outspoken, and an entertaining coach on the sideline and on the podium. However, he has been out of the league since 2016, so there is some risk here because of that. With that said, If Ryan is able to get the Broncos' defense to play like the defenses he has coached in the past, this will be a home run hire by Payton.