Popular coordinator Ryan in running for head job

Updated: January 6, 2008, 6:20 PM ET
Associated Press

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Rex Ryan made his bid to become the Baltimore Ravens' third head coach Sunday, interviewing for several hours with the team's search committee.

The popular defensive coordinator was the fourth candidate to meet with the Ravens, after Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, Dallas Cowboys assistant head coach Tony Sparano and Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Ryan, 45, and the rest of the coaching staff were fired last week along with coach Brian Billick by team owner Steve Bisciotti following a 5-11 season. The son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan, he coached the Ravens' defense to rankings of fifth, first and sixth over the past three seasons.

"I think Rex would be a very good choice," Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "I've had experience with a former defensive coordinator coming in and being a head coach, with Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher. Rex, he's in the mold of Jeff Fisher, and I think he can do a great job."

Ryan is also expected to interview with the Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins this week.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are expected to meet with other candidates this week during the second phase of their search, including New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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