Rex Ryan Hired as Jets' Head Coach

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was hired as the coach of the New York Jets on Monday, a day after the Ravens lost in the AFC championship.

The 46-year-old Ryan replaces the fired Eric Mangini, taking
over a team that started last season 8-3 but missed the playoffs
with quarterback Brett Favre after losing four of its last five
games.

The Jets announced the hiring, but released no other details.
The contract is for four years, a person with knowledge of the deal
told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of
anonymity earlier Monday because the deal had not been announced.

Ryan, the son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, will be formally
introduced at a news conference Wednesday at the Jets' facility in
Florham Park, N.J.

"It's been a dream of mine to become a head coach in the NFL,"
Ryan said in a statement. "Coming here to the New York Jets, where
my father once coached and was part of the Super Bowl III staff, is
fantastic. I look around at the facilities and the people they have
in place and see a first-class organization. I'm just proud to be
part of it."

The deal was finalized Monday afternoon after Jets owner Woody
Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum flew to Baltimore in
the morning to iron out the details, team spokesman Bruce Speight
said.

"We got the right man for the job," Johnson said in a
statement.

The Ravens' defensive coordinator the last four seasons is the
twin brother of Cleveland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. His
Baltimore defense helped the Ravens to the AFC championship game
and has been ranked in the top six in total yardage allowed the
last four seasons, including second overall this season while
leading the NFL with 34 takeaways.

"I think it's a gain for them and a loss for us, but it's
well-deserved," Ravens linebacker Bart Scott said. "It was a long
time coming."

This will be the first head coaching job for Ryan, who is said
to be well liked among his players because of his straightforward,
no-nonsense style.

"I'm very much looking forward to meeting coach Ryan," wide
receiver Chansi Stuckey told The Associated Press in an e-mail.
"His reputation precedes him by the success that Baltimore has
had, and I'm very excited to get started."

It became apparent Ryan was at the top of the Jets' list of
candidates when several other teams filled their coaching vacancies
and New York's remained open. The Jets needed Baltimore's season to
end - which happened Sunday with a 23-14 loss at Pittsburgh -
before offering him the job.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Rex has the expertise and
instincts to build on the foundation that we have in place and take
this franchise to the ranks of the NFL's elite," Johnson said.

Ryan also interviewed for the St. Louis Rams job that went to
Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

The Jets interviewed at least five other candidates, including
offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, assistant head
coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan, Arizona assistant head
coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm, Indianapolis defensive
coordinator Ron Meeks and fired Boston College coach Jeff
Jagodzinski.

Whether Ryan will have Favre on his roster this season is
unclear. The 39-year-old quarterback recently said he would take
several weeks before deciding whether to return.

Nicknamed "The Mad Scientist" for his aggressive and
unpredictable game plans, Ryan prefers to run a 3-4 defensive
scheme, which the Jets already have in place. New York spent big
money last offseason acquiring players that excel in the 3-4,
including nose tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Calvin Pace.

Ryan inherits a defense that had an impressive start with 29
sacks in its first eight games but just 12 in the last half of the
season. The secondary also might need a makeover, ranking 29th
overall against the pass despite Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis
and playmaking safety Kerry Rhodes.

Ryan, who was with the Ravens for 10 seasons, was fired when the
entire staff was let go after the 2007 season. Ryan interviewed for
the job that went to John Harbaugh, who rehired Ryan.


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