According to a number of reports, the New York Jets have hired former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan as their new head coach.
The 46 year-old son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan has accepted a four-year contract in the range of the $11.5 million Steve Spagnuolo received from the St. Louis Rams over the weekend.
“If I get that opportunity, that would be fantastic,” Ryan said after the Ravens’ season ended in the AFC Championship Game.
Ryan became the front runner for the Jets job after a lengthy five-hour interview with owner Woody Johnson eight days ago and beat out Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Spagnuolo, who were at one point considered the front runners.
But the Jets had to wait until the Ravens’ season ended, and when the Pittsburgh Steelers made that happen yesterday, Ryan got an offer “within an hour” according to ESPN.
“He is going to be a great head coach in the NFL,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “If somebody is wise enough to make that decision here shortly, they will have a great head football coach.”
Ryan will have his work ahead of him. First he will have to pick a staff. The organization wants to retain Schottenheimer to run the offense, while the new coach will probably want to bring in his own defensive coordinator.
Then there’s the Brett Favre issue. If the future Hall of Famer retires, Ryan will be looking for a quarterback to take over the Jets, which may come from the free agent market or the draft.
But before any of that happens, the Jets will need to introduce the head coach. A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday.