BY GEORGE ARTSITAS — It’s hard for me to say anything bad about Rob Ryan.
Granted, the guys out of a job, looks like he needs a hot shave and looks like he smells bad, but the now-former Cowboy defensive coordinator, who left in a huff when he found out he was fired, has impressed me in his short time off.
Ryan was reported to have said, “I’ll be out of work for about five minutes,” right after hearing the news that he was out in Dallas. Now I’m not going to say this grandiose display of hubris was really earned, considering this was a guy whose defense ranked 18th in the NFL in yards per game. That’s kinda like bragging that you’ve gone sober the 18th longest in a 32 person AA meeting — in other words, an awkward thing to boast about.
My true fascination, however comes from the fact that he could really just throw that comment out there, and hell, he’s probably right.
He won’t get a head coach job at either the pro or (even) the college level (which is were his career trajectory would’ve taken him if he had played in just one playoff game. Unless you chose to look at through nepotism-tinted goggles, but that’s a story for a different day). And he probably won’t even get another coordinator job. In all likelihood, he’ll find a defensive lineman or linebacker coaching gig, do that for a couple of years and be back on the market to work under his slimmer brother Rex once that New York nightmare is over.
But back to Rob. His rise to relevance was one of my favorite things that sports can do. After the Rex and the Jets built a little steam after two consecutive AFC title appearances and his curse-word laden Hard Knocks run, the country needed more Rex Ryan. Then, the other Ryan just showed up on my radar one Sunday morning. He was on the sideline, and unbeknownst to me that Rex had a twin, I was immediately sent through an emotional spiral (I won’t lie, I jumped on the Jets bandwagon a few years ago. I like Rex. He (was) fat and curses a lot. He’s a role model.). After a quick Google search, I realized this wasn’t some crazy Arrested Development story line that played itself out on the sidelines. This Werewolf looking guy was real.
He then was in Cleveland, headed to Dallas next, and now he’s firmly on the curb for at least another five minutes, just in time to be the huskier and less foot-enthused Ryan twin who will dance through the NFL assistant coach doldrums for the next couple of years, getting less and less airtime. I’d like to give him his moment — or five minutes, rather — in the sun for delivering such an awesome exit speech. After that, he’ll be back at work.