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Rex Ryan Could Fly With The Falcons - New York Daily News


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With an offense already in place, Rex Ryan could fly with the Falcons

Ryan could wind up coaching a 2014 playoff team after missing the postseason for four consecutive years with the Jets.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 3:02 PM

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Rex Ryan might be on the precipice of pulling off a coaching miracle worthy of a round of applause and standing ovation.

When he gets fired by the Jets after this miserable season, he could be flying south for the winter and spring and summer and fall. Ryan might trade in a closet full of green-and-white gear for some red-and-black merchandise with a new motto: Play Like A Falcon.

Black Monday (Dec. 29) will reveal all of the head coaching vacancies, but this much is certain: Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to ignite a frustrated fan base and change the culture of his team.

Arthur wants a tougher team, a source familiar with Blanks thinking told the Daily News. He wants guys that have an edge to them.

Blank, a native of Queens, is a Ryan fan. The owner came away with a favorable impression of the then-Ravens defensive coordinator during the head coaching interview process in 2008. Two sources believed that Ryan had the inside track at the time thanks to a solid first interview with Blank and team president Rich McKay before general manager Thomas Dimitroff was hired.

Dimitroff took part in Ryans second interview and ultimately preferred Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Ryan went back to Baltimore for a year before the Jets hired him.

Now, Smith, who is 9-19 since losing in the 2012 NFC Championship Game, appears to be on his way out.

The feeling is that Blank will make a coaching change after the season, even though the 5-7 Falcons could win the weak NFC South.

I think Smittys fate is sealed, the source said of Smith.

Ryan could wind up coaching a 2014 playoff team after missing the postseason for four consecutive years with the Jets. The prevailing sentiment among front office executives across the league who spoke to The News this week is that the Jets 2-10 record entering Sundays game against the Vikings is a reflection of GM John Idziks terrible talent procurement rather than Ryans coaching.

A poor 2014 record, in other words, wont necessarily preclude Ryan from finding another home. Andy Reid went 4-12 in his final season in Philly before the Chiefs hired him in 2013. The Broncos snatched up John Fox in 2011 after a 2-14 meltdown in Carolina. A quarter of the head coaches in the league are on their second gig.

Ryan is expected to draw interest from some of the six or more teams likely to have head coaching vacancies after the season. He will opt for a television job over another defensive coordinator position, according to people close to him.

The Bears and their anemic defense could be a good fit, but keep an eye on the Dolphins as a potential suitor for Ryan if Miami misses the playoffs. Sources told The News that owner Stephen Ross has an affinity for Ryan. If Jim Harbaugh remains in Northern California, as expected, then Ryan could become a viable option in South Beach.

The Falcons, however, might be the best place for Ryan. Blank wants a strong personality to instill a tough mindset for a team that he believes has been soft under Smith. Hes also looking to make a splash with a $1.4 billion retractable-roof stadium scheduled to open in 2017. Ryan, a great salesman, would breathe life into the fan base (and help sell personal seat licenses along the way).

Its unclear whether Dimitroff will be retained, but signs point to Blank making the call on the coaching hire.

I believe Arthur will hire the next coach, not Thomas, the source said. Thats if he even keeps Thomas.

The Falcons, saddled with injuries on the offensive line for the second consecutive season, already have what Ryan lacked for six seasons with the Jets: An established quarterback.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones would be the two best offensive skill-position players that Ryan has ever coached. (Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is under contract through 2015).

Ryans defensive prowess is exactly what the Falcons need. Smiths team ranks last in total defense after finishing 27th last season. Theyre currently last against the pass. Ryan has had a Top 10 defense in five of six seasons with the Jets. He finished in the Top 6 against the pass in four seasons. The Jets are somehow 13th in pass defense this season despite a horrific cornerback situation.

Ryans teams have had the toughness that Blank desires. The Jets defense is third against the run after finishing third last season.

It would be a great opportunity for Rex, said Mike Vick, who played his first six seasons in Atlanta. It would be a great opportunity for Arthur. I can tell you that It would be awesome. I think Rex would fit in. With the defensive scheme that he has, with the right players, he could work miracles. Super Bowl miracles.

Ryan would maximize emerging cornerback Desmond Trufants skill set in his press, man-to-man scheme. He might also lure Darrelle Revis, who would welcome playing for his former coach if he doesnt stay with the Patriots.

The Falcons will have nearly $27 million in salary cap space next year to bring in players with the proper mindset to be a physical team.

Ryan might not have to wait very long to begin his second act.

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I don't think Arthur much cares anymore about "corporate behavior" - he wants to win. If Arthur thinks the foul-mouthed Rex Ryan or the abrasive Jim Harbaugh will make his team a winner capable of SuperBowl contention - he will break tendency.

More than "image" - Arthur has to sell a lot of seats in his $1.4 BILLION dollar castle!!!

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what is this talk about willis? he isn't a free agent until 2017

There is talk that either he or Bowman will be released and since Bowman is younger I think they lean towards him. They can't afford to have too much money tied up into 3 world beating LBs. Willis is older, a lil' fragile and takes up a lot of cap. If he is let go, we NEED to go after him. If we do get him, I would be in favor of keeping Weatherspoon who may be better as a sidekick than a star.

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I don't think Arthur much cares anymore about "corporate behavior" - he wants to win. If Arthur thinks the foul-mouthed Rex Ryan or the abrasive Jim Harbaugh will make his team a winner capable of SuperBowl contention - he will break tendency.

More than "image" - Arthur has to sell a lot of seats in his $1.4 BILLION dollar castle!!!

I strongly doubt Arthur is going to fire a Coach and select someone who is doing worse than

the Coach he fired. A man who has a toe sucking issue to deal with. A potty mouthed over promiser

who has consistently underdelivered.

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By saying he's not an AB kind of guy, I take it you mean corporate kind of guy and I agree. Not suave enough or slim enough to carry it off, which could indeed doom Rex early in Blank's selection process.

Right. And the stupid press conferences, say stupid things publicly, 'toegate', etc. I just don't see Ryan being AB's 'type'.

I strongly doubt Arthur is going to fire a Coach and select someone who is doing worse than

the Coach he fired. A man who has a toe sucking issue to deal with. A potty mouthed over promiser

who has consistently underdelivered.

Exactly.

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