Sources: Jets Focus On Ryan


NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Jets' coaching search may be over now that the Baltimore Ravens' season has ended.

The Jets were expected to offer Ravens defensive coordinator **Rex Ryan** their head coaching job as early as Monday after Baltimore lost to Pittsburgh 23-14 in the AFC championship.

The 46-year-old Ryan would replace the fired Eric Mangini and take over a team that started last season 8-3, but missed the playoffs with quarterback Brett Favre after a late-season collapse.

It became apparent that Ryan was at the top of the Jets' list of candidates when several other teams filled their coaching vacancies and New York's remained open. The Jets needed Baltimore's season to end before they could offer him the job.

ESPN reported Sunday night that the Jets notified the other candidates, including offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, of their decision to hire Ryan as coach.

The Jets declined comment through team spokesman Bruce Speight.

Ryan is the son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan and twin brother of Cleveland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. He has been the Ravens' defensive coordinator the last four seasons.

Baltimore has been ranked in the top six in total yardage allowed under Ryan, including second overall this season while leading the NFL with 34 takeaways.

Baltimore coach **John Harbaugh** had high praise for Ryan after the Ravens fell a win short of the Super Bowl.

"He should have an opportunity to be a head coach soon," Harbaugh said, "and he's deserving of it."

Ryan, who also interviewed for the St. Louis Rams job, impressed the Jets when he met for several hours with team officials earlier this month.

If hired, this would be the first head coaching job for Ryan, who is said to be well liked among his players because of his straightforward, no-nonsense style.

The Jets interviewed at least five other candidates, including Arizona assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm, Indianapolis defensive coordinator Ron Meeks, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and fired Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

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