Ryan was a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky in 1987 and at Ohio State in 1988. Ryan then spent 5 seasons at Tennessee State, where he coached running backs (1989–91), wide receivers(1992) and the defensive line (1993). He served as defensive coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in 1996, where they led the nation in total defense (228 yards per game) and in sacks (56). His defense also set a national record by forcing 49 turnovers. Ryan originally entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1994 as defensive backs coach on his father's staff at Arizona Cardinals. He also coached Cardinals cornerbacks and safeties in 1995. With Ryan as his position coach, cornerback Aeneas Williams earned two trips to the Pro Bowl in 1994 and 1995. In 1995, the Cardinals led the NFL with 32 interceptions and 42 total takeaways. The 1994 Cardinals ranked second in the NFL total defense, second in run defense and third in pass defense. From 1997–99, Ryan was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, where the Cowboys defense continually ranked among the best in the nation, also he was named Coordinator of the Year by The Sporting News in 1997.
In 1999, they were ranked 10th in the nation in total defense. In 1998, they were second in the nation with 41 sacks. In his first season at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys defense finished among the nation top-20 in turnover margin, rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense, allowing just 302.7 yards per game. It was an over 100-yard improvement per game from the year before and helped the Cowboys produce an 8–4 mark and capping the 1997 season with a berth in the Alamo Bowl.
From 2000 to 2003, Ryan was the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots. In 2003, the Patriots ranked first in the NFL in fewest points allowed 238 while ranking seventh overall in the NFL in total defense. Ryan's unit also contributed to one of the best scoring defenses in franchise history in 2001, as the Patriots allowed just 17 points per game and produced Pro Bowlers Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi. However, as the actual Defensive Coodinator, Ryan's defenses have not accomplished postseason success and have digressed since 2004.
From 2004 to 2008, Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. In 2006, the Raiders ranked third in yards allowed per game and eighteenth in points allowed per game.
Former Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini named Ryan as defensive coordinator on January 14, 2009.
He was officially named the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator on January 19, 2011. The Cowboys missed the playoffs again in 2011 and were mediocre on defense, ranking 14th in yards allowed per game and 16th in points allowed per game. The 2012 season was more of the same. Dallas was ranked 14th in yards allowed per game and 23rd in points allowed per game while only ranking 16th in QB sacks. Dallas did not make the playoffs yet again. On January 8, 2013, the Cowboys ended Ryan's employment with the franchise. In February 2013, Rob Ryan was hired as the New Orleans defensive coordinator. He will implement a 3–4 defense to the team, scrapping their current 4–3 defensive scheme.
Read more about this topic: Rob Ryan
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“Each of the professions means a prejudice. The necessity for a career forces every one to take sides. We live in the age of the overworked, and the under-educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.”
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