Rob Ryan

Raiders To Bring Back Rob Ryan

Multiple teams courted Rob Ryan this offseason. While the veteran defensive coordinator was on the Giants’ radar, it turns out New York’s former DC will bring Ryan to Las Vegas.

The Raiders are hiring Ryan for a second time, with Adam Schefter of noting (via Twitter) the former Oakland DC is coming to Vegas as a senior defensive assistant. Ryan will help out new Raiders DC Patrick Graham.

While this will be Ryan and Graham’s first time working together, the former was on the Patriots’ staff during new Raiders HC Josh McDaniels‘ early days in New England. Prior to Ryan’s run of DC opportunities, he worked as the Pats’ linebackers coach from 2000-03. McDaniels was a defensive assistant for the ’02 and ’03 Patriot teams.

Ryan, 59, served as the Raiders’ defensive play-caller for multiple head coaches in the 2000s, staying on as Oakland’s DC from 2004-08. Ryan worked under Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable. The Raiders gave Ryan his first DC gig. He later landed four more, leading defenses in Cleveland, Dallas, New Orleans and Buffalo. Ryan’s Raiders defenses largely struggled; none ranked inside the top 15 in points allowed. Interestingly, his best unit came for Shell’s 2-14 team in 2006; that Raider unit ranked third in total defense.

Ryan-Giants partnership emerged as a possibility because of Ryan’s past with new Giants DC Don Martindale, who hired him for his Ravens staff last season. Ryan coached inside linebackers with Baltimore in 2021, doing so after holding the same position in Washington in 2019.

Giants Plan To Add Rob Ryan To Staff

Don Martindale plans to bring some familiar faces to his new team. The relocating defensive coordinator is eyeing Rob Ryan and Bryan Cox for his first Giants staff, Aaron Wilson of tweets.

Ryan has settled onto the position coach tier, doing so after receiving several cracks as a coordinator. The former DC for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys, Saints and Bills has coached inside linebackers in Washington and Baltimore since working on Rex Ryan‘s Buffalo staff in 2016. The Ravens, however, opted not to retain him after parting ways with Martindale.

Interestingly, Martindale was Oakland’s linebackers coach under Ryan during each of the latter’s five seasons running the Raiders’ defense (2004-08). They reunited on Baltimore’s staff last season.

A former linebacker, Cox has not been a full-time NFL staffer since the 2016 season, when he was the Falcons’ defensive line coach under Richard Smith. The Falcons canned select staffers after their historic Super Bowl collapse, and Cox was among those let go. Cox was primarily a D-line coach from 2006-16. He worked with Ryan in Cleveland from 2009-10.

The Giants are also interviewing Adam Henry for their wide receivers coach role, Mike Garafolo of tweets. Henry previously served as New York’s wideouts coach from 2016-17 under Ben McAdoo. He has since coached receivers in Cleveland and Dallas.

Ravens Notes: Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, Coaching Staff Changes

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta held an end-of-season press conference on Friday. In it, he provided updates on a number of key points in the team’s upcoming offseason, including the current status of contract negotiations with quarterback Lamar Jackson

DeCosta made it clear that he is personally handling talks with Jackson, and has been from the beginning of the negotiation process. He added that the two of them have spoken “five or six times over the past year” (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, DeCosta added “I’m proud of the relationship that we have” (Twitter link).

Jackson certainly didn’t have the season he or the Ravens were expecting. In 12 games, he recorded 2,882 passing yards and a near-even (16:13) touchdown-to-interception ratio. While he added another 767 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, he also had six fumbles. Between those numbers, and a season-ending ankle injury, 2021 was a far cry from Jackson’s 2019 MVP campaign. If anything, that could further complicate his contract talks, which were reportedly not proceeding as hoped earlier in the season. DeCosta stated: “We’re working at Lamar’s pace… We will operate based on his urgency” (Twitter link), suggesting the team is willing to let the 25-year-old play on his fifth year option.

Here are some other important notes from the presser, along with some updates to the team’s coaching staff:

  • DeCosta said he expects to pick up the fifth year option on wide receiver Marquise Brown (Twitter link via Hensley). A close friend of Jackson’s, Brown had his most productive season in 2021 (91 catches, 1,008 yards, six touchdowns), though he tailed off considerably late in the campaign.
  • The offensive line will be a priority in the offseason. As Zrebiec tweets, DeCosta stated a desire to strengthen the unit overall, though he is “optimistic” left tackle Ronnie Stanley will be able to return to full health after a second major ankle surgery.
  • Zreibec adds that the team is planning on getting younger along the defensive front. With that said, DeCosta has already been in communication with veteran Calais Campbell, who was thought to be contemplating retirement throughout the year.
  • Hensley tweets that cornerback Marcus Peters is expected to be back. He missed the entire season and his release would create $10MM in cap space, but the former All-Pro would provide a playmaking element to the secondary if healthy.
  • As for the coaching staff, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets that inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan will not return. Hensley adds that outside LBs coach Drew Wilkins has also been let go, to pursue new opportunities alongside former DC Don Martindale.
  • According to Zrebiec, former Raven Zach Orr is a candidate to replace Ryan. After his promising career was abruptly ended due to a rare neck ailment, he’s taken to coaching. He spent 2021 on the Jaguars’ staff.


Ravens Add Rob Ryan To Staff

Rob Ryan will be back in the NFL next season. The Ravens hired the former defensive coordinator as their inside linebackers coach.

Ryan sat out another season in 2020, doing so after a one-year stay as Washington’s inside linebackers coach in 2019. The 58-year-old assistant has been a one-and-done in each of his past two roles, leaving Buffalo after Rex Ryan was fired in 2016.

The Ravens will be the ninth team to employ Ryan as an assistant. Beginning his career as a Cardinals DBs coach under father Buddy Ryan in the mid-1990s, Rob served as defensive coordinator for four teams — the Browns, Raiders, Cowboys and Saints — from 2004-15. The Saints fired him after their defense set an NFL record for touchdown passes allowed in 2015.

Jay Gruden‘s firing in Washington led Ryan out of the league again after the 2019 slate. But the brash staffer will now oversee Patrick Queen‘s development under DC Don Martindale. John Harbaugh saw linebackers coach Mike Macdonald defect to Jim Harbaugh‘s Michigan staff, leaving an opening in Baltimore. The Ravens, who had Rex Ryan on staff for 10 seasons — including during John Harbaugh’s 2008 debut — will fill that position with a high-profile candidate.

Staff Notes: Bills, Taylor, 49ers, Ryan, Eagles

Another former Panthers assistant will land a job on the Bills‘ coaching staff. Buffalo hired Ken Dorsey to be its quarterbacks coach. A former Miami Hurricane standout, prior to his days with the 49ers and Browns, Dorsey spent five seasons as the Panthers’ QBs coach. In 2018, the 37-year-old coach was on Appalachian State’s staff. Dorsey will take over for David Culley, who is now on Baltimore’s staff. The Bills also promoted Chad Hall to wide receivers coach. The 32-year-old former NFLer spent his first two seasons in coaching as a Bills offensive assistant. Another hire the Bills announced this week: bringing in Terry Heffernan to be their assistant offensive line coach. Heffernan has NFL coaching experience, being a Lions staffer earlier this decade, but spent the past three years at Division I-FCS Eastern Kentucky. Heffernan coached under new Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson in Detroit.

None of the offensive coaches who have been hired or promoted have a direct tie to second-year OC Brian Daboll, Mike Rodak of tweets. Here is the latest from the coaching carousel:

  • Two teams have yet to hire their head coaches, but the Bengals will look to finalize their agreement with Zac Taylor soon after Super Bowl LIII. The Rams’ quarterbacks coach will travel to Cincinnati on Monday, with’s Tom Pelissero tweeting the parties will make their pending partnership official.
  • Rob Ryan initiated the process that ended with him becoming the Redskins‘ new inside linebackers coach. The former defensive coordinator said Kirk Olivadotti‘s decision to take a job with the Packers prompted him to reach out to the Redskins about a job, Ryan said on NBC Sports Washington‘s Redskins Talk podcast. Ryan interviewed with the Redskins twice in the past but has never worked with the franchise.
  • Kyle Shanahan was a bit surprised teams aggressively pursued members of his coaching staff, considering the 49ers went 4-12 this season. “It was a little unexpected,” Shanahan said during an interview with KNBR (via NBC Sports Bay Area). “I didn’t think our staff was going to get raided after a 4-12 year, so that caught me off a little bit.” The Broncos did the main raiding, hiring Rich Scangarello and T.C. McCartney. The Packers also hired Adam Stenavich to become their offensive line coach. Shanahan also denied permission for the Vikings and Packers to interview Mike LaFleur and did not allow Mike McDaniel to speak with the Cardinals, citing neither offensive assistant being up for a play-calling role with one of those teams.
  • San Francisco also lost another assistant, but this time to the college ranks. Defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley will become the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
  • The Eagles will swap out assistant offensive line coaches. After Eugene Chung‘s contract expired, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro notes the Eagles will hire Roy Istvan to replace him. Istvan will come all the way up from the NAIA level, having coached most recently at Florida’s Keiser University. However, he spent time with Philadelphia offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland in the distant past, playing for Stoutland at Southern Connecticut in the 1980s and then breaking into coaching during Stoutland’s stay as that program’s OC. This will be Istvan’s first NFL job.

Redskins Hire Rob Ryan

The Redskins hired longtime defensive coordinator Rob Ryan as their new inside linebackers coach, according to a team announcement. Ryan last served as the Bills’ assistant head coach (defense) in 2016 and is now set to enter his 20th season as an NFL coach. 

Before hooking on with the Bills, Ryan served as the DC for the Saints (2013-15), Cowboys (2011-12), Browns (2009-10) and Raiders (2004-08). He found success with the Saints early on, leading their defensive unit to Top 5 rankings in points allowed and passing defense in 2013. Things unraveled a bit afterwards, but Ryan remains a respected defensive mind.

Clearly, the ILB coach role is a step down from where Ryan has been in the past, but this could be an opportunity for him to springboard into a larger role. For now, he’ll work under Greg Manusky, who was retained as DC after some flirtations with outside candidates this offseason.

Coaching Rumors: Contracts, CBA, Broncos, Bears, Rob Ryan, Browns, Packers

We’ve been hearing for the past few months that both the NFL and NFLPA think there are increasingly high odds of a lockout during the next round of CBA negotiations, and we got even more confirmation of that today. The NFL is gearing up for a fight, and with coaches who signed contracts this year, “teams are addressing how much each coach would make — or lose — in the event of a work stoppage” sources told Adam Schefter of

Sources told Schefter that “both teams and coaches are confident that there will be some type of disruption, and one of the first signs of it is showing up in the language of coaches’ contracts.” The league is widely seen to have won the last round of negotiations over players, and the players’ union will be looking for a lot more from the league in the next round. Owners might not be willing to budge, and it sounds like a lengthy lockout is a very real possibility in 2021.

Here’s more from the coaching ranks:

  • The Broncos are reportedly targeting Bears defensive backs coach Ed Donatell to join Vic Fangio’s staff, and Donatell might not be the only assistant Chicago loses to Denver. The Broncos are “bringing in Bears OLB coach Brandon Staley” for an interview Monday, according to Mike Klis of 9News Denver (Twitter link). It sounds like Fangio is interested in bringing over as many of his assistants from Chicago as possible.
  • With Chuck Pagano now in charge of the Bears’ defense, the team wasn’t planning on bringing back Staley anyway, according to Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune. A source told Briggs that Rob Ryan, the former Saints defensive coordinator and brother of Rex Ryan, could be brought in to replace Staley. Ryan is a big personality and it would certainly be an entertaining hire if nothing else.
  • Freddie Kitchens has added another member to his inaugural Browns staff. Cleveland is hiring Packers offensive line coach James Campen as their associate head coach and offensive line coach, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN (Twitter link). Campen was the longest tenured coach on the Packers’ staff, and had been there even before Mike McCarthy took over as head coach.

Redskins Meet With Rob Ryan For DC Job

Rob Ryan‘s tenure with the Bills lasted less than one season, but he will have a chance to join the Redskins’ staff. Washington added the brash veteran to the list of defensive coordinator interviews, Albert Breer of tweets.

He joined Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine on the Redskins’ DC interview list, one that did not include Wade Phillips despite the teams being connected. Nor did it include Bengals DC Paul Guenther, whom the team requested permission to interview. Ryan certainly qualifies as a big name, even if his recent jobs did not end well.

This is the first interview opportunity for Ryan as he attempts to rebound from a Buffalo experiment gone awry. The Bills fired both of the Ryan brothers, with Rob making it just 15 games compared to Rex‘s 31 with the franchise. It marked the second straight year the veteran DC failed to finish with his employer, with the Saints relieving Ryan of his duties during a historically bad 2015 campaign.

Rob Ryan has officially served as the DC for four teams, but his role with the Bills — while not given that title — included similar responsibilities. Buffalo finished 19th in total defense for a second straight season.

The Redskins are still seeking to fill the spot made available by the team axing Joe Barry, and the search is coming up on the two-week mark.

Fallout From Rex Ryan’s Firing

The Bills are on the hunt for a new head coach after firing Rex Ryan on Tuesday, but the presence of general manager Doug Whaley is likely to limit their options, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. With Whaley entrenched atop the Bills’ front office, head coaching candidates who want significant say in roster construction might be less inclined to take the job.

Tom Coughlin[RELATED: Bills to bench Tyrod Taylor]

That could include longtime NFL head coach Tom Coughlin, with whom the Bills spoke last offseason about a front office role before he took a position with the league. Coughlin is now a possibility to end up back in Jacksonville – where he coached from 1995-2002 – but Bills owner Terry Pegula is interested in tabbing the two-time Super Bowl winner to succeed Ryan, per Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is also high on the Bills’ list, reports Cole, who adds that the team would want to retain interim head coach Anthony Lynn as its offensive coordinator under either Coughlin or Austin.

Lynn entered the season as the Bills’ running backs coach, but they elevated him to O-coordinator after firing Greg Roman on the heels of an 0-2 start. Buffalo’s Lynn-led attack ranks first in the league in rushing, seventh in scoring, eighth in DVOA and 12th in total offense. Now, given his impressive work this season, it’s possible Lynn is actually the favorite to take over for Ryan on a permanent basis. Whaley “pushed” ownership to place the interim tag on Lynn, tweets the Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci, who wrote last week that Lynn could be primed to grab the reins going forward. Lynn garnered attention from head coach-needy franchises last winter and will again be on teams’ radars this offseason (the Rams are reportedly eyeing him), so the Bills could lose the 47-year-old if they don’t select him as Ryan’s replacement.

Rex Ryan

As for Ryan, his downfall in Buffalo was his inability to live up to his reputation as a defensive guru. The Bills had a top-tier defense in place when they hired him in advance of the 2015 campaign, but it was a below-average unit in each of his two years with the club. Ryan’s move last January to hire his twin brother, the now-fired Rob Ryan, to team with him and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman didn’t produce positive results. In fact, Bills players told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington that the Ryans lost the defensive portion of the locker room because there were “too many cooks in the kitchen” (Twitter link). Defensive end Leger Douzable took to Twitter to bash Buffalo’s decision to ax Rex Ryan, whom he also played under as a Jet, but star D-tackle Marcell Dareus doesn’t seem too broken up about the coaching change.

While Dareus told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he likes Ryan, the franchise’s highest-paid player explained that the defensive scheme “was just too much detail for a lot of guys, and I feel like for a lot of guys it was too much going on for them to check here and check there, if this happens and that happens. Then nine times out of 10, a team will throw something out there that we weren’t prepared for, and then the adjustment to it, we had to get use to and try to make it happen and make plays.”

The 26-year-old Dareus will be among a few marquee talents the Bills’ next coach inherits (running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Sammy Watkins are the others), though the environment “from top to bottom” is “toxic,” relays Carucci (Twitter link). Considering the Bills have gone a league-worst 17 years since their latest playoff trip, that’s not overly surprising.

Bills Fire Rex Ryan

The Bills are not waiting for the season to end to make a head coaching change. Rex Ryan has been let go and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will take over as the interim head coach. Rob Ryan (assistant head coach/defense) has also been relieved of his duties. Rex Ryan (Featured)

I spoke with Rex earlier today and we mutually agreed that the time to part ways is now. These decisions are never easy. I want to take this opportunity to thank Rex for all his efforts and wish him all the best moving forward,” owner Terry Pegula said in a statement. “Kim and I and our entire Bills organization share in the same disappointment and frustration as our fans, but we remain committed to our goal of bringing a championship to Western New York.”

Rex Ryan was not given a third year to turn things around in Buffalo despite finishing with a .500 record in his first year and guiding the team to a 7-8 mark so far this season. The Bills will not qualify for the playoffs for the 17th straight season and the organization is not willing to take the patient approach any longer.

Lynn has gone from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to head coach in just three months. His first promotion came when Greg Roman was forced out earlier this year and he’ll now get to audition for the team’s permanent role. Reportedly, the Bills wanted to push Ryan out in part because of their desire to retain Lynn. Lynn has long been identified as a strong head coaching candidate for this offseason.

There are conflicting reports regarding GM Doug Whaley’s job security. A little over a week ago, Adam Schefter of reported that Whaley is not in jeopardy of getting fired. However, over the weekend, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe said that his status “remains up in the air.”

As of this writing, there are now three teams that will be looking for head coaches in the New Year: the Rams, Jaguars, and Bills.