Rob Ryan Won't Be Hired by St. Louis Rams After All

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Rob Ryan Won't Be Hired by St. Louis Rams After All

In a strange turn of events, the St. Louis Rams have decided not to hire former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan as the leader of their defense in 2013.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 11:40 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke

Rob Ryan will not become the St. Louis Rams' defensive coordinator in 2013, according to the team's official Twitter account on Tuesday morning:

The Rams' search for their next defensive coordinator continues.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7:58 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

According to league sources (via radio host Tony Softli), the Rams have yet to hire Ryan:

---End of update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7:16 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

After weeks of speculation, the St. Louis Rams have finally made it official: Rob Ryan is in fact going to be their defensive coordinator in 2013. ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news on Twitter on Thursday:

---End of update---

The St. Louis Rams have hired former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to helm their defense in 2013, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post:

UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 11 at 10:07 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to New York Post reporter Brian Costello, Ryan and the Rams are close to a deal, but nothing is official yet:

---End of update---

UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 11 at 9:55 p.m. by Shawn Brubaker

As it turns out, we might not be as far along as previously thought, as multiple sources note that Ryan has yet to sign a contract with the Rams. 

Ian Rapoport of reports that no deal is imminent, as the two sides are merely in the process of working out a deal:

Jason La Canfora of CBS, meanwhile, tweeted that while Ryan is the top choice, the sides have yet to sign a contract:

Ryan still seems likely to end up in St. Louis, but no deal has been finalized. We will keep you posted on this developing story.

---End of update---

In 2012, the Rams' defense ranked 14th in the NFL under Blake Williams, son of Gregg Williams, whom the league suspended in the wake of the massive drama surrounding the Bountygate scandal. Blake took over for his father when Gregg was banned from his coaching duties as Rams defensive coordinator for the duration of the season. He was let go on Jan. 2.

Ryan led a Dallas defense that ranked 19th in the NFL in 2012, but he comes from a family with strong defensive roots. Father Buddy Ryan and brother Rex Ryan, along with Rob, form one of the strongest family coaching dynasties in NFL history.

Ryan favors the 3-4 defense, but it remains to be seen whether he will implement that scheme in St. Louis. The team’s talent is better suited to the 4-3, as Chris Long and Robert Quinn are both prototypical 4-3 ends.

Regardless of the scheme, Ryan has a long history of working with elite pass-rushers. Derrick Burgess, Chris Clemons and DeMarcus Ware are just a few of the top edge-rushers that thrived under Ryan.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Anthony Spencer had a career year under Ryan in 2012

Ryan favors an aggressive approach to defense, focusing on blitzing often and disrupting the opponent. Even though the Cowboys struggled on defense this season, Ware and Anthony Spencer were dynamic pass-rushers who excelled under Ryan’s aggressive scheme.

Under Ryan’s tutelage and with a more aggressive scheme, Long and Quinn have a chance to truly break out in 2013.

One other thing to pay attention to: If Ryan does change the defensive scheme in St. Louis, the Rams will have to make the acquisition of 3-4 talent a focus in the NFL draft. Players like James Laurinaitis and Michael Brockers could excel in that scheme, while others, like Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Rocky McIntosh, will be poor fits.

Examining the Rams’ talent, the team will definitely need a massive nose tackle to make the switch, and they’ll need to convert Quinn and Long, but otherwise, the Rams could be ready. This will be a fascinating story to watch develop.

One other story to watch: How will Ryan fit with a strong-willed, established coach? Jeff Fisher is firmly entrenched as the Rams’ coach after a fairly successful 2012 season, and Ryan is a bit of a loose cannon. Whether the two will coexist will be a story to watch in 2013.

Despite Ryan’s recent struggles, he is still a great defensive mind. He has the chance to turn a good defense into a great one this season. We’ll see if he can get it done.

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