Rex Ryan has been out of the NFL since 2016 when he was fired as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
The ESPN analyst is reportedly attempting to return to the sidelines after interviewing with Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton for the defensive coordinator position.
Ryan has emerged as a “surprise candidate this week” for the DC job, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.
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Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2005 to 2008 before becoming the head coach of the New York Jets.
In New York, Ryan compiled a record of 46-50 in six seasons and led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010.
He was fired by the Jets in 2014 after going 4-12 and became the head coach of the Bills for two seasons from 2015-16.
Ryan has been an analyst for ESPN since 2017.
Payton was officially named as head coach of the Broncos in early February after taking a year off from coaching.
He stepped away from the New Orleans Saints following the 2021 season and worked for Fox as an NFL analyst.
While Payton said he enjoyed his year covering the NFL, nothing replaced the feeling of being on the sidelines.
“You drive home and there’s nothing that replaced the feeling of winning,” Payton said at his introductory press conference, according to the Broncos website. “It just didn’t. And so off in the distance – I used this analogy – it was a little bit like that racetrack that you could smell the gasoline, you heard the cars running, you could see the lights.
“You knew you were there. and you know what there’s like. It’s hectic, it’s loud, it’s busy, it’s noisy, it’s not always fun. There’s challenging times. There’s losses, there’s wins. But every day you’d look and you’d hear it, and you’re thinking, ‘Man, I can’t wait to get back.'”
Ryan’s brother, Rob, was the defensive coordinator under Payton in New Orleans from 2013 to 2015.
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