Why Ryan’s Rehire Won’t Cause Waves

January 29, 2008 |

It’s no secret that I didn’t think making Rex Ryan the head coach of the Ravens was a good idea. I like Rex and still think he is going to be a very good head coach someday. But this wasn’t the right time or the right place for him.

With the release of Brian Billick, the team needed a voice from outside to be its head coach. I also said that I wasn’t sure that bringing him back as defensive coordinator was a good move. That changed for me when John Harbaugh was chosen.

Three reasons are behind my change of heart. One, Harbaugh and Ryan have a relationship going back to the University of Cincinnati; it seems they have a great deal of mutual respect for each other.

Second, Ryan cannot afford to be perceived as a trouble maker or a problem. It looks as though, he is going to have a hard enough time getting a head coaching job, even though he is obviously overqualified. The last thing he needs is a negative image like being a perceived trouble maker or underminer. The NFL is a small fraternity. Do something to upset one and you may never get a chance again. Look at Russ Grimm with his bad attitude after being passed over for the Steelers job last year. How many interviews did Grimm get this year? None!

Third, I think Ryan is a professional who will do his best with the Ravens defense and see this as yet another chance to prove the NFL owners wrong. A great season with the Ravens and this might actually improve his stock even more.

The Ravens have put together a very strong set of coordinators with Cam Cameron heading the offense and Ryan heading the defense. Retaining Clarence Brooks as defensive line coach was another excellent move.

With Harbaugh’s enthusiasm and supposed ability to communicate with people, I think the Ravens have something good going. It will be interesting to see how Harbaugh fills out the rest of the staff.