I am not particularly fond of the Ryan brothers and their amazingly irritating antics. Not one bit. Few people in the NFL demand as much undeserved attention, be it negative or positive, as these two. They struggle to get results, but their rah-rah college style and mouths that would be fitting of a college freshman always seem to drag media attention their way.
Being cocky is fine – so long as you can back your talk up and get results. Something both the Ryan brothers have failed to do with their respective clubs. All the worse if one of them has to be “relegated” to the role of a coordinator or assistant. Something Rob’s been stuck doing his entire career. I can only hope for the sake of the Rams and Jeff Fisher he’s doing it anywhere but St. Louis next season.
In the aftermath of Bounty Gate, nobody felt the wrath of Goodell as much as Greg Williams. Rightfully so I might add. He was pegged to be the Rams’ defensive coordinator for the 2011-12 season, but would ultimately receive an indefinite ban. Something tells me he’s not coming back to the NFL any time soon. Following this development Jeff Fisher decided to call the defensive plays himself. The middle of the pack stats don’t show it, but Jeff Fisher not only helped to build a great young defense but he had them playing at a very high level last year. Not saying he has to be the guy calling the shots next season, but I’m really hoping he doesn’t settle for Rob Ryan.
Jeff Fisher is a man’s man. No doubts about that. He calls the shots, demands respect and gets it. He’s earned this right with a superb career behind him. Now I’m supposed to believe that there’s enough room for Ryan and his massive ego to join him on the sideline? Nuh uh. The kind of distracting bantering, and boastful claims by the former defensive coordinator of the Cowboys almost gave the impression it was never Jason Garrett’s team. The media may be guilty of aiding in this weird perception of the situation in Dallas, as it seems they almost permanently had a camera following him. Whatever the case, even though I am not a fan of Rob Ryan’s style, or even confident in his abilities as a coordinator he was made to be a coach. Mostly because of his style. Like it or not, Rob Ryan can’t play second fiddle to anyone.
As I said earlier, Rob Ryan’s reputation as one of the better defensive minds in the league really isn’t deserved. At least based on the “what have you done for me lately” mentality of most football fans. He lasted one year in Cleveland, and looking at the defense’s rankings it is kind of easy to see why. They were 21st in points allowed, and 31st in yards. Fantastic. His two years in Dallas didn’t go much better. A little bit, but he also had an incredibly talented roster to work with. Demarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Brandon Carr, Sean Lee, Morris Claiborne, etc. etc. Both years with the Dallas Cowboys, his defense was ranked 14th in yards. He actually regressed in terms of points allowed though from 16th to 23rd. The results speak to his genius.
The Rams have a great thing going on defense, they really do. They were tied for the league lead in sacks, and improved in nearly every category this season. I don’t trust the vociferous and perpetually job hunting Rob Ryan to aid in their development. Keep on looking Fisher, you’re one of the best in the business and I would be a fool to question whoever you do pick. Just please not Ryan. Besides, if this defense that’s ready to become elite does under him, dear god we’ll never hear the end of it.
You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV