The Baltimore Ravens actually lost quite a number of assistant coaches this offseason, who had the opportunity to take jobs at higher positions elsewhere—one of them even landed the head coaching job with the Houston Texans. While they still have their coordinators in place, much else has changed.
They did bring in one name that should be familiar to everybody—Rob Ryan. They hired him to be their inside linebackers coach after losing the former man in the job. He is, of course, the brother of Rex Ryan, who was also a linebackers coach for the team before earning his way up to defensive coordinator, which ultimately landed him a head coaching job with the New York Jets.
Rob Ryan was most recently with Washington in 2019, serving a role in the same capacity as he is now in Baltimore, after being out of the league for the past season, which is not uncommon. Prior to that, he was out of the league while working in broadcasting for a couple of years. Before that, he served in a number of spots as defensive coordinator, including as assistant head coach in Buffalo in 2016.
Now he is back in the AFC North after spending time as defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2009 and 2010, and he had had plenty of insight about the organization from Rex, who spent a decade with the Ravens, albeit with only one year overlapping with head coach John Harbaugh.
“I know Rex always bragged about the great ownership in the building. But obviously, my respect for John Harbaugh and for Don Martindale — knowing those two since they were coaching with my brother in Cincinnati way back in college”, Ryan said in an interview with the team’s website about why he took the job. “So just a long appreciation for them. And then just to be in here for the last three weeks, it’s such a great atmosphere. Everything’s focused on winning”.
It’s remarkable what nice things people have to say about their employers, isn’t it? Of course, that’s not to say that it isn’t true. By all appearances, the Ravens actually do seem like one of the best organizations to work for, if we’re being honest and unbiased.
Ryan will now get the opportunity to work with a couple of young bucks at the position, with Patrick Queen a first-round pick last year, and Malik Jefferson also brought in last season in the third round. Queen will obviously start. Jefferson has a good chance of starting as well.
Although Ryan has only coached one season since 2016, I don’t imagine that he has forgotten what he’s doing. He broke into the league as a linebackers coach under Bill Belichick in New England for four years before getting his first defensive coordinator opportunity, so the guy knows what he’s doing. And he may have learned a little something from his father over the years as well.