At least one of the Ryan brothers has emerged from a grim December in Buffalo to interview for a coaching position in 2017.
The Redskins confirmed Monday that they spoke with Rob Ryan for their defensive coordinator vacancy. Ryan, 54, last served as the assistant head coach/defense for his twin brother Rex. Both were let go a week before the season ended. Ryan last ran a defense back in 2015 with the Saints.
Washington Redskins (@Redskins) January 16, 2017
Defenses run by Ryan have finished in the top five in yards surrendered twice -- the 2006 Oakland Raiders and the 2013 New Orleans Saints. The Saints team in 2013 was the only defense in Ryan's career which he coordinated that finished in the top 10 in points allowed. His next best performance was in 2010 with the Cleveland Browns.
A true coaching journeyman, Ryan may be suffering a bit from the wounded brand name attached to his defensive style. The Bills finished 16th in points surrendered and 19th in yards last year. Rob and Rex left town followed by allegations that the scheme was far too complicated for players to digest.
Solving their defensive woes is a huge part of Washington's offseason in 2017. After firing coordinator Joe Barry two weeks ago, the team also confirmed interviews with Mike Pettine and Gus Bradley. Pettine, having come up under Rex Ryan as a defensive coordinator, runs a similar pressure-oriented scheme.
While it would be heartbreaking to go through a season without at least one of the Ryan brothers in a position of power, it's beginning to look that way. Rex has gone largely silent since being dismissed as the head coach of the Bills and, outside of this interview, not much has been heard from Rob. Clearly, the Redskins wanted to find out for themselves if the Ryan defensive scheme was too complicated to install.