The bottom line, according to a source, is that Ryan declined the defensive coordinator position due to hesitations from coaching a 4-3 system and not being able to pick his assistants.
"He wanted it to work, and I just think he realized over the weekend that it was not (a fit)," a source told Thomas. "Rob was torn."
Ryan and his wife were in St. Louis over the weekend and he even attended a Blues game. The team was prepared to make an announcement Friday, then early this week, then everything changed. Ryan reportedly worried if he could get another coordinator job if things didn't work out in St. Louis. And if he's going down, he's going down with his own system (3-4) and assistants. That wasn't possible in St. Louis.
The Rams are now back to the drawing board. The Post-Dispatch reports that they're expected to contact longtime NFL coach and coordinator Dick Jauron, who was the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator in 2012. The Rams also could be interested in someone on the San Francisco 49ers' or Baltimore Ravens' staffs. College coordinators Todd Grantham (Georgia) and Kirby Smart (Alabama) could be in play. There's also the option to promote a defensive assistant such as secondary coach Chuck Cecil or assistant head coach Dave McGinnis.
Fortunately for the Rams, everything on defense starts with coach Jeff Fisher. There might be more worry with an offensive head coach. This Ryan fiasco has slowed the process, but the defense will remain Fisher's baby.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.