Rams hire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator

BY foxsports • January 24, 2013

ST. LOUIS - So much for the Rams and coach Jeff Fisher having a defensive
coordinator that hasn’t been in the news lately.

A year after the Rams hired well known and respected defensive
coordinator Gregg Williams – only to have him never coach a game due
to a suspension stemming from the bounty gate scandal – they hired
another character to replace him.

The Rams have hired former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to
fill the same position. Ryan, the brother of Jets head coach Rex Ryan,
is known for his out-going and outspoken personality and hard,
aggressive style of defense.

Ryan spent two seasons with the Cowboys, leading a defensive unit that
dealt with several key injuries in 2012 to a No. 19 overall ranking
including 17th against the run and 21st against the pass.

Never shy to offer up an opinion, Ryan told ESPNDallas.com shortly
after he was fired that, “I inherited a team that was 31st in the
league in defense and made them better. I (expletive) made them a hell
of a lot better. I’ll be out of work for like five minutes.”

The Ryan-Fisher combination is an interesting one.  Ryan’s father
Buddy Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears when
Fisher played for them from 1981-85. Ryan left to become the head
coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Fisher later coached there under

But did Fisher just hire an old family friend or does he think Ryan is
the right guy to lead the Rams defense? No Rob Ryan led defense has
ever made the playoffs. He served as the Raiders defensive coordinator
from 2004-08 and the Browns DC from 2009-10 before his two-year stint
in Dallas.

Ryan apologists will argue that he’s actually a good coach but has
never had the opportunity to work with talented players. He’s
inherited some of the worst defenses in the league in each of his
three previous stops.

The Rams meanwhile had an impressive and much-improved defense in
2012, helping them stay in a number of games they didn’t deserve to be
in. Despite not having a defensive coordinator, the Rams finished in
the middle of the pack (14th) in both yards allowed and points

But how will Ryan and his 3-4 style of defense work in St. Louis? The
Rams are much better suited for a 4-3 defense with ends Chris Long and
Robert Quinn serving as perfect pieces for that alignment. Will Ryan
try to convert the Rams to a 3-4 group or adapt to their current

Ryan has an impressive history of working with elite pass-rushers
including DeMarcus Ware, Chris Clemons and Derrick Burgess.  Seeing
what he could do with Long and Quinn is nothing short of intriguing
and exciting.

Several defensive players including linebacker Bruce Carter, Sterling
Moore and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher went to twitter to voice
displeasure over Ryan being fired. And that’s notable because despite
their lack of success, players obviously liked playing for him. And
that bodes well for the Rams.

Ryan’s defenses feature multiple blitzes and continued pressure, a
style that could have success in St. Louis. The Rams defense led the
NFL in quarterback sacks last year, a number that could go up even
higher with Ryan’s aggressive attack.

Fisher and Ryan are two of the more popular personalities in the NFL.
Now they are coaching together. How will it end? It figures to be an
awesome story to watch.

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