Could Rex wind up as ‘next man up’…somehow?

January 17, 2008 | Drew Forrester

I’m hearing from NFL sources that Rex Ryan is not going to be offered the Head Coach position in Atlanta.

Evidently, Rex went to Atlanta for interview #2 at the same time the Falcons were sniffing around the Jason Garrett-rose and during that interview they hinted to Ryan that their “perfect world” scenario would be Garrett as the Head Coach and “offensive mind” and Ryan as the Defensive Coordinator and #2 in charge.

That Garrett-Ryan combo was NOT acceptable to Rex.

And, now in Atlanta, I’m hearing from NFL sources they’re going to “open it up” and have more interviews.

So, with Rex looking like he’s NOT in with the Falcons, is Ryan now once again a possibility for SOME role in Baltimore?

Other sources tell me Ryan has NOT been contacted again by the Ravens since his Sunday interview back on January 5.  Ryan still has an office in the facility and is there everyday, so the Ravens have had plenty of opportunities to sit down and further discuss their head coaching vacancy with him.

That source also said to me, “Harbaugh might be a tough sell with the fans.  They’ve fired a 9-year NFL coaching veteran and now they’re going to turn over their team to a guy who hasn’t even been a Defensive Coordinator in the NFL?  And, they already have a guy who’s been the team’s Defensive Coordinator for three seasons waiting in the wings.  They’re going to hire a guy who’s never been a D-Coordinator over a guy who’s been running their defense for the last seasons?  That doesn’t make much sense.”

I would have to think Ryan would be interested in staying in Baltimore if it all made sense.  Perhaps Marty Schottenheimer as coach and Rex as Defensive Coordinator makes sense – to Rex.  John Harbaugh as Head Coach and Rex Ryan as Defensive Coordinator might not make sense – to Rex.

Of course, any new coach might want to bring in his own staff.  That’s usually how it goes, right?

Anyway…that’s what I’ve learned today.

It looks like Rex isn’t the #1 choice in Atlanta at this point, even with Jason Garrett pulling out of the Falcons race.

Could he still wind up in Baltimore, somehow?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

Stay tuned.