Rex Ryan seems awfully upset he didn’t get the Broncos DC job

Sep 19, 2023, 2:48 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2023, 2:53 pm

Rex Ryan was on the shortlist to be Sean Payton’s first defensive coordinator in Denver, instead, he hired Vance Joseph to lead the Broncos defense.

It was a controversial decision at the time to hire Joseph given he had just failed as head coach of the Broncos and coached the Arizona Cardinals defense to one of the works marks in the league. On top of that Ejiro Evero impressed in his single season as DC, even in a bad year, and was let go elsewhere.

Ryan is currently an ESPN analyst, and hasn’t coached since the Bills dismissed him as head coach with one game left in the 2016 season. He hasn’t served purely as a defensive coordinator since the 2008 season with the Baltimore Ravens. However, he guided the Jets and Bills defenses during his eight-season stint as a head coach.

So he may not have done the job recently but he, and given his family ties, certainly knows what he’s talking about. This week he said, “this team has averaged more points per possession than any other unit in the NFL, so whose fault is it? It’s the defense. Their defense is supposed to be No. 1 in the league if I was the coordinator, I don’t what the hell is going on now.”

In 12 seasons as a head coach or defensive coordinator, Ryan’s units finished in the top eight in scoring defense nine times. In his four seasons solely as a coordinator — all with Baltimore (2005-08) — his defenses finished in the top six in scoring defense four times. The Ravens led the league in scoring defense twice in that span.

The Broncos have only allowed 52 points which is fine relative to the league through two weeks, but they’re in the bottom 10 in both yards per passing attempts allowed and rushing first downs allowed.

“When I saw the talent on their defense, I thought there’s no reason this shouldn’t be the top defense in the league,” Ryan said.

Joseph’s seat is already heating up and his defense is going to face a high-flying Dolphins offense on Sunday.



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