According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Denver Broncos and Sean Payton interviewed former Bills and Jets head coach Rex Ryan for their defensive coordinator job. This was his second interview with the team, but this interview was an in-person interview.
9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis reports that there is no immediate decision coming on the defensive coordinator position and they may still interview another candidate or two before making a decision.
Former Jets and Bills HC and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan interviewed Saturday in Denver for the Broncos DC job. Ryan and former Broncos HC Vance Joseph are amongst a handful of candidates for the job; Ryan has told ESPN he would only leave the network “for the perfect… https://t.co/S0bWnxO4MZ pic.twitter.com/5Uyw6O8Oy2— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 19, 2023
There was a photo of Rex Ryan in a local Hilton Hotel floating around Twitter on Saturday and this report confirms that he was indeed in town. Ryan followed former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph for an in-person interview with Sean Payton and the Broncos for their defensive coordinator position. Ryan has been reported as the “favorite” for the job, but it sounds like the Broncos may continue doing their due diligence.
Klis also notes that Vance Joseph, who interviewed for the Broncos job in-person earlier in the week, will also interview for the Philadelphia Eagles job on Monday. The fact that the Broncos let Joseph leave town and interview with another team is potentially a sign they are not interested in hiring him, but we shall see.
In Schefter’s report, he states that Ryan, who has been working at ESPN since he was fired by the Buffalo Bills in 2016, would only return to the NFL for the “perfect situation”. Is the talented Broncos' defensive job with Sean Payton coaching the team the perfect situation for Ryan? He is considered the favorite for the job per reports and has interviewed for the job twice, so perhaps it is.
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.
Of the candidates, I have warmed up to Ryan the most. During his career, he has given Hall Of Fame quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady fits and is one of the more gifted defensive minds to ever coach. Sure, he has been out of the league for a few years but his demeanor and past defensive efforts have me excited about him potentially being the Broncos defensive coordinator.