Ravens Will Reportedly Hire Colorful Veteran Defensive Coach

Rob Ryan

Getty Rob Ryan when working with the Saints in 2015.

The Baltimore Ravens have a few holes to repair on their staff, and they have wasted little time getting down to business with at least one new hire.

According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN, the Ravens are hiring Rob Ryan to coach inside linebackers. Ryan would fill the void left by former linebackers coach Mike Macdonald, who recently departed to become Michigan’s defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh.

Ryan’s family does have a history with the Ravens. Rex Ryan was a longtime defensive assistant for Brian Billick and helped the Ravens claim Super Bowl XXXIV. While his brother has never worked in Baltimore, there’s a clear family tie with the staff and he is just the type of personality that would seem to mesh with what the Ravens do well on defense every season.

Ryan has been out of the league since 2019 when he was the inside linebacker coach for the Washington Football Team, and after a year on the sidelines, will be looking to turn it up again with his trademark looks and passion for the game.

Rob Ryan Biography

Ryan, 58, has long been one of the most well-traveled and successful defensive coaches in the NFL. He started his coaching career in 1987 at Western Kentucky, and used that experience as a springboard to the NFL after staying in the college game until 1993. He first became the Arizona Cardinals defesive backs coach from 1994-1995, then heading back to college to coach Hutchinson CC and Oklahoma State as defensive coordinator in 1996 and 1997-1999 respectively. After that, it was back to the NFL for Ryan, who landed in New England as linebacker coach from 2000-2003 where he claimed Super Bowl XXXVI and XXXVIII. Ryan then became the then Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator from 2004-2008, and did the same job in Cleveland, Dallas and New Orleans from 2009-2015. In 2016, he joined his brother Rex in Buffalo as assistant head coach before working in Washington in 2019.

Obviously, regardless of some of the memes about him which imply otherwise, Ryan has a wealth of experience to lend to the team’s young linebacking group, so the hire and fit could make a ton of sense from that standpoint for the Ravens moving forward.

Ravens Could Face Major 2021 Staff Changes

James Urban isn’t the only member of the Baltimore staff who could be moving on this offseason, potentially as the new Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator. While defensive coordinator Don Martindale will stay, linebacker coach Mike Macdonald has already departed for Michigan to run Jim Harbaugh’s defense. Defensive backs coach Jesse Minter will leave to be Vanderbilt’s defensive coordinator. Wideout coach David Culley joined the lineup of potentially departing Ravens coaches when he interviewed for the Houston Texans head coaching job this past week, though it could be a long shot he gets it in the end.

Now that Ryan is set to be in the mix, he will patch at least one hole on John Harbaugh’s staff. Will there be more? That will remain to be seen in the coming weeks.

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