Ryan to become Jets coach

Updated: January 20, 2009, 11:32 AM ET
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Graham: It's About Time

Even before he's introduced as the next Jets head coach and begins to assemble his staff, Rex Ryan has an influential assistant in his famous father, Buddy Ryan, writes Tim Graham. Blog.

• Blog network: NFL Nation

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan agreed to become coach of the New York Jets, the team announced on Monday.

Multiple sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that Ryan will receive a four-year contract. Lawyers are reviewing contract language before an official announcement is made. A news conference introducing Ryan, the son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, is scheduled for Wednesday.

"It's been a dream of mine to become a head coach in the NFL," Ryan said in a statement. "Coming here to the New York Jets, where my father once coached and was part of the Super Bowl III staff, is fantastic. I look around at the facilities and the people they have in place and see a first-class organization. I'm just proud to be part of it."

The Jets made a formal offer to Ryan, 46, "about an hour" after the Ravens lost 23-14 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, sources told Mortensen.

The deal was finalized Monday afternoon after Jets owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum flew down to Baltimore in the morning to iron out the details, Jets spokesman Bruce Speight said.

"We got the right man for the job," Johnson said in a statement.

Ryan's four-year contract is in line with other first-year head coaches who have been recently hired, but a Jets source told Mortensen it was almost identical to the $11.5 million deal that the Rams gave New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Saturday.

"Any coach who believes in himself wants the opportunity, and it's a great franchise," Ryan told ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols on Sunday night.

Ryan, who is the twin brother of Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, was hired by the Ravens in 1999 as a defensive assistant and took on the coordinator's role in 2005. The title of assistant head coach was added before this season.

Ryan replaces the fired Eric Mangini and takes over a team that started last season 8-3, but missed the playoffs with quarterback Brett Favre after losing four of its last five games.

Ryan's Baltimore defense helped the Ravens to the AFC Championship Game and has been ranked in the top six in total yardage allowed the past four seasons, including second overall this season while leading the NFL with 34 takeaways.
Ryan to be named Jets coach

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Jets reach agreement with Rex Ryan to be team's coach.

"I think it's a gain for them and a loss for us, but it's well-deserved," Ravens linebacker Bart Scott said. "It was a long time coming."

This will be the first head-coaching job for Ryan, who is said to be well-liked among his players because of his straightforward, no-nonsense style.

"I'm very much looking forward to meeting Coach Ryan," wide receiver Chansi Stuckey told The Associated Press in an e-mail. "His reputation precedes him by the success that Baltimore has had, and I'm very excited to get started."

It became apparent Ryan was at the top of the Jets' list of candidates when several other teams filled their coaching vacancies and New York's remained open. The Jets needed Baltimore's season to end -- which happened Sunday with a 23-14 loss at Pittsburgh -- before offering him the job.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Rex has the expertise and instincts to build on the foundation that we have in place and take this franchise to the ranks of the NFL's elite," Johnson said.

Ryan also interviewed for the St. Louis Rams job that went to Spagnuolo.

The Jets interviewed at least five other candidates, including offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan, Arizona assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm, Indianapolis defensive coordinator Ron Meeks and fired Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

Whether Ryan will have Favre on his roster this season is unclear. The 39-year-old quarterback recently said he would take several weeks before deciding whether to return.

Nicknamed "The Mad Scientist" for his aggressive and unpredictable game plans, Ryan prefers to run a 3-4 defensive scheme, which the Jets already have in place. New York spent big money last offseason acquiring players that excel in the 3-4, including nose tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Calvin Pace.

Ryan inherits a defense that had an impressive start with 29 sacks in its first eight games but just 12 in the last half of the season. The secondary also might need a makeover, ranking 29th overall against the pass despite Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis and playmaking safety Kerry Rhodes.

Ryan, who was with the Ravens for 10 seasons, was fired when the entire staff was let go after the 2007 season. Ryan interviewed for the job that went to John Harbaugh, who rehired Ryan.

Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN. Information from ESPN's Rachel Nichols and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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