Could Rex Ryan Become the Next Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles?
It's considered to be a foregone conclusion at this point that in about two weeks the Philadelphia Eagles will officially move on from Andy Reid and begin looking for a new head coach to lead a talented group of players into 2013.
With that in mind, Grantland's Bill Barnwell raised an interesting possible scenario deep in a column regarding the disaster that is the 2012 Jets on Tuesday:
Although I think Ryan is an above-average coach, he's probably a better fit on a veteran team than he is with a rebuilding one. I don't know that the Jets should necessarily fire him, but if Ryan doesn't want to be a part of a youth movement, could the Jets find a trade partner who might be willing to give up a mid-round pick for a head coach with some track record of playoff success? Could that trade partner be Philadelphia, who's likely to have an opening and want a veteran coach who won't demand personnel control, let alone one whose father became an icon in the town?
Jeffrey Lurie didn't own the team when Buddy Ryan ran the show in Philly between 1986 and 1990, which means he might not feel as strong a connection to the Ryan family as the Eagles fanbase does.
However, that and the fact that Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman was just a teenager during the Buddy Ryan era could mean that the duo in charge of finding the team's next head coach might not fully realize what it'd be getting into with the Ryan family.
If he becomes available, should the Eagles pursue Rex Ryan?
The Ryans are bombastic and cocky and downright controversial. Rex's mouth gets him into trouble. That'll never change. And while Rex would be the antithesis of Reid in Philadelphia, that doesn't make him the right choice.
This team, after all, is trying to break away from an era that has been defined by bravado and overconfidence. How are fans and players supposed to completely forget about the "Dream Team" that never was if the team employs the brashest head coach in football?
In order to get another take on Ryan from his time in New York, I spoke with B/R AFC East blogger Erik Frenz, who told me that he doesn't think the Jets should can Ryan, but he believes that Philly would be smart to grab him if that were to happen:
Ryan made an early habit of bold predictions, brash proclamations and boosting the confidence of his players through the media, but he has cooled off considerably this year, and the team continues to respond to him. In that aspect, he has definitely learned a lot in his tenure as the head coach of the Jets.
Ever since the Jets went to back-to-back AFC championship games in 2009 and 2010, they have been an average team, but that's primarily because of a lack of talent—mainly at quarterback—and an overall lack of depth. With a smart general manager at the helm and a solid offensive coordinator calling the plays on that side of the ball, Ryan could be a great head coach.
Like Frenz, I like Rex Ryan, and I think any team could use his expertise as a defensive schemer. And in the right situation, he certainly has shown that he can succeed as a head coach. While Barnwell is right about Ryan fitting in with the Eagles because he won't desire the power Reid has had, he might not be correct in assuming that the Eagles won't also be rebuilding—at least partially—in 2013.
I still fear that Ryan might simply be a little too much for a franchise that needs to step away from the mic for a little while.
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