Jon Gruden On Jets: 'I Think They Lost One Heck Of A Football Coach'


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rex Ryan is still a hot commodity, despite missing the playoffs for four straight years with the New York Jets.

The former head coach, fired by the Jets after a four-win season, already has interviews lined up for next week with the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons, according to multiple reports. The 49ers announced a split Sunday with Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. The Falcons, who considered Ryan for their vacancy in 2008, ousted coach Mike Smith after seven seasons on the job.

New York Daily News reporter Manish Mehta thinks Atlanta, with an established offense in place, would make “perfect sense” for the defensive-minded Ryan.

“What you need to do is fix the defense,” Mehta told WFAN radio on Tuesday. “It was the last-ranked defense — 32nd in the league against the pass, 32nd in the league in total defense. And everybody knows that Rex Ryan fixes defenses. So I don’t think that would be as difficult for him as it would be maybe for somebody else coming in.”

Some believe Chicago — another team searching for a head coach after Black Monday — could also be a good fit. Oakland, too.

Ryan is said to be considering a move to broadcasting as a fallback. He got those wheels in motion Tuesday during a meeting with ESPN brass, the Daily News reported.

Ryan went 50-52 in six seasons with the Jets, including 4-2 in the postseason and two consecutive trips to the AFC Championship game. ESPN analyst Jon Gruden doesn’t expect the engaging 52-year-old to be out of work for long.

“I’m really disappointed for him,” Gruden said during a conference call Tuesday, according to Newsday. “I understand winning and losing is certainly the defining number for some people, but I expect Rex Ryan to get picked up quickly.

“I’m sure there are some celebrations in Buffalo and New England and Miami. But the Jets, they chose to move on. I wish them the best in their endeavors, but I think they lost one heck of a football coach.”

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