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New To The Silver & Blue: Rob Ryan

I have to admit when I found out  Rob Ryan was being considered for the defensive coordinator spot  I was confronted by a flash of  Buddy Ryan coaching our rivals the Eagles and thoughts of him sounding off on Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys. Now it’s funny when we hear sound bites now and again of the argument but back then I was one mad Cowboy Fan.  However that is the past, and we are now moving on to the future.

I didn’t know anything about the Ryan family when I started researching however I learned some very interesting facts.

Rob was born December 13, 1962 in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  He is the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and his twin brother Rex is the current head coach of the New York Jets.

Rob’s parents Buddy and Doris divorced in 1966 and the boys moved to Canada with their mother. In 1974 they came back to the states to live with their father.  Rob attended high school in Linconchire, Illinois.

Rob attended college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where our own Kelly Horn graduated, where he played defensive end opposite his brother Rex.

Rob’s resume is a long one. He began his coaching career in 1987.

Here is his coaching resume:

  • 1987 Assistant at Western Kentucky
  • 1988 Ohio State – Linebacker
  • 1989-93  Tennessee State – RB, LB and DL
  • 1994-95  Arizona Cardinals – Defensive Backs
  • 1996     Hutchinson Community College
  • 1997-1999  Oklahoma State – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2000- 03    New England Patriots – Linebacker
  • 2004 – 08   Oakland Raiders – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2009-10  Cleveland Browns – Defensive Coordinator

While that is impressive, I wanted to know how good is he at his job. He was named Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 1997 by the Sporting News for getting  Oklahoma State’s defense ranked among the best in the nation. In 2003 New England’s defense ranked 1st in the NFL in fewest points allowed, along with best scoring defense in 2001.

I was pleased to find out that his players admitted that he is a coach that demands respect but that they loved playing for him. Buddy Ryan said his son gets 100% out of each player.

Rob Ryan has an abundance of experience and unlike his father, his players respect him and he gets the best out of each player. Along with stars like DeMarcus Ware and Jay-Rat, he will also have young talent to work  with. It will be interesting to see if he can turn Mike Jenkins around and what he can turn Bryan McCann into. He has talented veterans to depend on along with the young guns to mold.

I am not a Buddy Ryan fan, but I have to admit his sons seem to have learned something  Buddy himself didn’t – Coaches must  have players respect.

I can’t wait to see what the 2011 season has to offer. With Jason Garrett at the helm and Rob Ryan pumping up the defense we will definitely improve this season. We just need to take it one game at a time.

Defensive End Dilemma

Marcus Spears, Steven Bowen and Jason Hatcher are all becoming free agents this year. To lose them all would be a heck of a blow to a very stout D-line. Marcus Dixon , a two year practice squad vet who recently signed a reserve/futures contract, is the only valid backup. To understand what could happen with the free agents this year, you must first look at the compensation and salaries to be earned.

Four years of experience

Original pick compensation: $1.176 million

Second round tender: $1.759 million

First round tender: $2.521 million

First and third tender: $3.168 million

Five years of NFL experience

Original pick compensation: $1.226 million

Second round tender: $1.809 million

First round tender: $2.621 million

First and third round tender: $3.268 million

I believe it would be naive to think the Cowboys would simply ignore Spears and let him test the waters. The five year experience original pick compensation tender makes the most sense, since it would ensure the Cowboys a first round pick should someone sign him away and keep his salary relatively low. I know it’s a no-cap year, but Jerry most likely will be spending a little extra cash on eliminating a certain safety or o-lineman’s (or two) contract(s). I’m not naming names. You figure it out.

As for Hatcher and Bowen, I think that Bowen will receive a contract. Original pick compensation goes out the window for Bowen since he was a rookie free agent acquisition. Since Hatcher was a third round pick in ’06, it would make sense to stick the four year original draft pick compensation tender on him and let him walk for a third round pick from a team that needs 3-4 Defensive End help. Believe me, there are quite a few. A second round tender might be pushing it and Dallas might end up stuck with a higher paying contract than Spears. (Not Smart)

Letting Hatcher walk for a third round pick would give Dallas more ammo in the draft and also would allow Dixon to take his next step in the pros. I doubt he would last another year on the practice squad. It’s do or die time for him.

Olshansky remains under a very friendly contract and should remain in place at least for the next couple of years. I think we would all agree he did very well this year replacing Canty.