Rex Ryan hasn’t coached in the NFL since the Bills fired him in 2016, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes the former Jets coach could replace Bob Sutton as the Chiefs’ next defensive coordinator.
Kansas City relieved Sutton two days after the Chiefs lost to the Patriots in overtime of the AFC Championship game. The Chiefs struggled defensively in that game and all season, failing to keep up with a potent offense. On the season, Kansas City ranked second in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed, whereas the offense was first in points and yards.
Ryan, in theory, could rejuvenate the porous defense. Ryan was heralded as a defensive guru and from 1999-2016 his defenses never finished worse than 11th in yards allowed. In his second season as a defensive assistant with the Ravens, Ryan helped Baltimore hold teams to 24 points in the 2000 playoffs en route to a 34-7 win over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
Ryan couldn’t make it as a head coach, though. He was fired after six years with the Jets and then again after two with the Bills. With the Bills, Ryan’s defense typically finished middle-of-the-pack.
Ryan has since been an on-air personality for ESPN. Despite being out of the game for a few years, Ryan said he’s never given up coaching in the NFL for good, according to the New York Post.
“I am never going to say I wouldn’t,” he said a year ago. “I am not going to paint myself in a corner and say I absolutely would not do that, but at this time I am going to say I don’t think so. That may drastically change, but right now I don’t see that.”
Even as recently as this season, Ryan believed he had a chance to become the next head coach at the University of Miami. According to the Miami Herald, Ryan called a few of his old assistants to see if they would have been interested in joining him if he landed the job with the Hurricanes.
Ryan’s name continues to pop up for coaching jobs, but it remains to be seen if a team will take the plunge and bring Rex back to the NFL.