Thursday, January 24, 2013
NFC West a little wilder with Rob Ryan
By Mike Sando
Rob Ryan's expected hiring in St. Louis, reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, gives the team five current or former defensive coordinators on its staff.
It also has the potential to liven up NFC West rivalries given Ryan's propensity for speaking his mind freely.
Ryan will serve as the St. Louis Rams' coordinator after the team went through 2012 without one. Head coach Jeff Fisher, assistant head coach Dave McGinnis, secondary coach Chuck Cecil and new linebackers coach Frank Bush were also defensive coordinators in the NFL previously.
The Dallas Cowboys fired Ryan as coordinator after last season in part because they hoped to generate more turnovers, according to coach Jason Garrett.
"It also didn't help Ryan that his flamboyant and boastful personality was never a good fit with the button-downed Garrett," Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote. "After making a few statements that turned into bulletin board material for opposing teams in 2011, Ryan was instructed by Garrett to tone it down before the 2012 season. He did his best [to] stay out of trouble with his mouth in 2012, but his penalty for going on the field to jaw with an opposing player in a game against Cincinnati didn't sit well with Garrett."
The Rams already played with attitude in 2012 while posting a 4-1-1 record in the division. With Ryan and a veteran defensive staff, one of the NFL's youngest teams won't be hurting for experience on the sideline and coaching booth.
Ryan served as defensive coordinator for Oakland, Cleveland and most recently Dallas before reaching an agreement with the Rams. He has favored a 3-4 defensive alignment in the past, but the Rams aren't looking for a new system. I anticipate Ryan adjusting to the defensive style Fisher favors.
Fisher played for and coached under Ryan's father, Buddy, years ago. Fisher and Rob Ryan have not worked together previously.