By hiring Rob Ryan to be his defensive coordinator, Jeff Fisher completes a circle of sorts. Fisher came up in the NFL as one of many understudies of Buddy Ryan. Fisher's coaching life begain as his playing career ended, as a member of the elder Ryan's vaunted 1985 Chicago Bears defense.
Years later, Buddy Ryan finally passed the torch to his twin sons, Rex and Rob, giving them their break in the NFL with the 1994 Arizona Cardinals. "We got him fired in two years, but our careers kept going," Rob said in a 2007 interview. "Sorry, dad. At first, people screamed nepotism. My dad gave us a shot. I'm sure it was nepotism. But now we know what we're doing."
Like Fisher, Rob Ryan got his start coaching defensive backs for his father. Both he and his brother coached in college for several years before re-ascending to the pros; Rex in 1999 with the Baltimore Ravens, Rob in 2000 with the New England Patriots. But where Rex was able to build a name for himself in Baltimore, Rob found himself living a vagrant's lifestyle.
Normally, a team's record isn't the first thing you look at when you judge a defensive coordinator. Especially a coordinator that worked for stiffs like Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, and Eric Mangini. Nonetheless, it's somewhat remarkable that no Rob Ryan team has ever finished a season above .500.
Is this a good hire for the Rams? That depends on how well he can replicate his success with the 2006 Raiders.no comments