In an appearance on ESPN, where he has worked as an analyst since 2017, Ryan was asked if “anybody” wants the Redskins job.
“Of course — everybody,” Ryan responded. “I would take it.”
“People are going to be lined up for this job,” he added. “They absolutely will.”
If nothing else, it may be nice for the Redskins to know that, should they strike out on their top targets, they have a fallback option. And for what it’s worth, during the Daniel Snyder era, those with previous NFL head coaching experience (Marty Schottenheimer, Joe Gibbs, Mike Shanahan) have tended to fare a bit better than first-timers (Steve Spurrier, Jim Zorn, Jay Gruden).
Fine, as long as we’re making a case for Ryan, here goes:
- Track record as a defensive mind — in four seasons as a Baltimore Ravens coordinator and six as the Jets’ head coach, his defenses never ranked lower than 11th in yards allowed (although they were 19th in both of his seasons in Buffalo).
- Went 46-50 in New York, but managed a winning record (33-29) in games started by Mark Sanchez and went 8-8 with Geno Smith starting every game as a rookie before the bottom fell out (4-12) the following season, pushing his overall record below .500.
- Was considerably more successful with the Jets, including two trips to the AFC championship game, than Todd Bowles (24-40, no playoffs), who replaced him and is now rumored to be under consideration by Snyder.
- Went 15-16 with the Bills, but his winning percentage (.484) was better than that posted by any of his five predecessors (Doug Marrone, Chan Gailey, Dick Jauron, Mike Mularkey, Gregg Williams). Hey, I’m trying.
- Garrulous personality could take spotlight off less-than-popular team president Bruce Allen, and easygoing, player-friendly nature could help defuse an occasionally tense atmosphere in Ashburn.
Of course, speaking of that garrulous personality, it helped create a narrative, particularly with the Jets, that Ryan’s mouth was writing checks his coaching acumen couldn’t quite cash. And while it’s reasonable to point to being saddled with subpar quarterbacks as a major factor in Ryan’s below-.500 career record, it’s also more than fair to suggest he didn’t do much to make them better.
That last point is key, because the Redskins will surely want their next coach to get the most out of their young quarterback and first-round pick, Dwayne Haskins. In addition, Ryan hasn’t prowled the sidelines since 2016 and might be out of step with the latest schemes, particularly as spread-offense concepts have flourished.
Then there’s the fact that Ryan’s brother Rob is already on Washington’s staff. If one Ryan is good, two is better, right?
Still, with hotshot coaches such as Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Ohio State’s Ryan Day sending signals that they’re not interested in the Redskins job, at least someone is touting it as a coveted gig. Or, in any event, a gig a certain someone covets, even if that person is extremely unlikely to actually get hired.
If, though, the Redskins are looking for a coach who can combine bluster with blitz packages — not to mention cap a motivational speech with, “Let’s go and eat a [expletive] snack!” — they need look no further than Ryan.