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News » Ryan wants his chance Baltimore's defensive coordinator says he's ready for job as head coach

Ryan wants his chance Baltimore's defensive coordinator says he's ready for job as head coach

Ryan wants his chance Baltimore's defensive coordinator says he's ready for job as head coach
After seeing his unit dismantle the Miami Dolphins offense Sunday, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan had a message for the Broncos and every other team in the market for a head coach:

Defense wins, and he knows how to coach it.

"The numbers say I've done a decent job," Ryan said. "If a team wants to stop somebody, all you have to do is look at my track record. If we don't get them stopped in the first year, it will probably be the first time we don't get them stopped in my career, going back through college, whatever. . . . I'll get my time, and whoever gets me will get a guy who is a real Football coach and not a pretender."

The Broncos don't have Ryan among the first five candidates they will interview for their head coaching job, but Ryan said Sunday he wants to be a head coach and believes he will be one when the 2009 season begins.

The Broncos interviewed Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Saturday night in New York and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on Sunday in Providence, R.I., even as Ryan's defense intercepted Miami quarterback Chad Pennington four times and forced five turnovers overall.

Ryan and Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier are expected to be in the next wave of interviews if the Broncos don't believe they have found their man among their first five meetings.

Veteran Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle said Denver or any team would get "a guy who is ready to do it right now."

"But you know, he's a better person than a coach," Rolle said of Ryan. "He cares about you and he keeps us under control. Defense, we're his guys. I mean, look at this locker room. There are some strong personalities on this defense to deal with, real strong personalities.

"But Rex handles it. He's got a strong personality, too. Nobody disrespects Rex, nobody. We all play for him. I used to wonder when I was in Tennessee how the Ravens did it year after year. Now I know. You come in, guys understand. Guys like Rex keep the tradition. He's overdue, he's earned a chance."

Ryan is expected to get interest from the Lions and Rams as soon as he is available for an interview. He cannot interview until the week after the conference championship games if the Ravens advance to the Super Bowl, or after the Ravens are knocked out of the playoffs.

He interviewed for the head coaching jobs in Atlanta, Miami and Baltimore last year. When John Harbaugh was hired as Ravens head coach, he retained Ryan, and the Ravens again were among the league's defensive leaders.

"I think every coach in the NFL, every college, everywhere would want to be," Ryan said of head coaching aspirations. "I hope I get the opportunity. It's not the end-all if I don't, but I would like the opportunity. And, again, if you want to stop somebody, I've got a track record."

Proven guy

Count Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert as a Spagnuolo fan.

Spagnuolo interviewed for the Broncos job Saturday. Heckert, just before the Eagles- Vikings wild-card game, said Spagnuolo would be a "great" head coach.

Heckert, who was with the Eagles during six of Spagnuolo's years as an assistant coach, also denied reports that he would go to any team, as a front office executive, that hired Spagnuolo.

"I haven't talked to 'Spags' since we played (the Giants)," Heckert said. "And I don't know where that came from. There's no truth to that. I think 'Spags' is a great coach. I know him very well and we're friends, but that's about it."

On what makes Spagnuolo a good coach, Heckert said, "First of all, he's a great defensive coach. He's proven that in New York. The players respect him. He's got a great combination where he's hard enough . . . on some guys but the players respect him and they play for him. They play hard."

When asked if he would listen to a team like the Broncos if they asked for permission to interview him, Heckert added, "I haven't even thought about it. . . . I think I have a great job. Really, I haven't even thought about it."

Garrett on tap this week

Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will interview Tuesday in Denver.

At $3 million a year, Garrett is believed to be the highest-paid assistant coach in the league and had been in the plans to be the next head coach in Dallas at some point. But several personnel executives in the league said Sunday that their belief is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will pursue Mike Shanahan to be the team's head coach either for 2009 or 2010.

Inside info

If the Broncos don't find, or can't get, the guy they want in these first round of interviews, the next group is expected to include the likes of Frazier, Ryan and Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

The Broncos do have some information on Schwartz and Ryan already. Broncos assistant general manager Brian Xanders, who has been with the Broncos' travel party during the weekend, was part of the Atlanta front office that interviewed Schwartz and Ryan for the Falcons' head coaching job last year.

Knowledge is power

Shanahan told the NFL Network in an interview that aired Sunday that if he does take a year off from coaching, he'll take computer courses and spend some time learning how to send e-mails and text messages.

He said it

"Surprise? No, surprise doesn't even come close. Shock either. It was just, 'Whaaaaaa?' I almost fell out of my chair. And then my wife almost fell out of her chair."

Trevor Pryce, Ravens defensive end and formerly with the Broncos, on reacting to Shanahan's firing.


* Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel thinks highly of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who interviewed with the Broncos on Sunday.

"He'll make a hell of a head coach. He's smart," said Samuel, who played for the Patriots for five years before joining Philadelphia this season. "When I first was introduced to him, he was a defensive backs assistant. So he knows both sides of the ball real well."

* The Broncos have not as yet requested permission to speak with Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. But Frazier has said he has intense interest in the the job and would be amenable to an interview.


Interview schedule

As of Sunday, this was the Broncos' schedule for head-coaching candidates:


* Saturday: Steve Spagnuolo, Giants defensive coordinator, in New York.

* Sunday: Josh McDaniels, Patriots offensive coordinator, in Providence, R.I.


* Today: Raheem Morris, Buccaneers defensive coordinator, in Denver.

* Tuesday: Rick Dennison, Broncos offensive coordinator, in the morning; Jason Garrett, Cowboys offensive coordinator, in the afternoon; both in Denver.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 5, 2009

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