How many Ryans can one town handle?
Buffalo, apparently, is about to find out.
Bills coach Rex Ryan hinted that his twin brother Rob, who was recently fired from his job as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, was visiting Western New York.
"Well I think it would be obvious if he was," Ryan said, before smiling and adding, "there's probably some truth to that rumor."
Maybe he's just visiting for the holidays. Or maybe Rex Ryan thinks his brother can add something to the Bills' defensive coaching staff.
Rob Ryan does have plenty of free time these days. He was let go by the Saints following an embarrassing, 47-14 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 10.
At the time, the Saints ranked last in points allowed, yards, yards per play, passing touchdowns, net passing yards per attempt and rushing yards per carry. Things haven't gotten much better since Ryan was let go – the Saints are still last in all those categories.
Rob Ryan has had plenty of ups and downs as a coordinator. He has turned around struggling defenses before, taking the Oakland Raiders from the worst defense in the NFL in 2005 to third overall the following year. In New Orleans, the Saints had the worst defense in NFL history in 2012, but rebounded to finish fourth in 2013.
Ryan's stint with the Saints was the fourth different team he's served as defensive coordinator, along with the Raiders (2004-08), Cleveland (2009-10) and Dallas (2011-12). He was fired from each job.
"He'll be fine," Rex Ryan said last month after Rob Ryan was fired. "This is the business that we chose. It's going to happen. It happens to everybody. ... I would have liked to have seen him finish out the season. Obviously that's what he would've liked."
Rex Ryan was asked then about the possibility of Rob joining the Bills.
"I'll never say never," that's for sure," Rex Ryan said. "We've kind of purposely set a path going to different teams. He’s his own man, I’m my own man and we’ve purposely set that path. With that being said, I’m not going to lie to you, I think it’d be pretty fun. If it could help, obviously we’d consider it but he’d have to consider it as well. We’ve got great coaches already. But we’ll see.”
The Ryan brothers last coached together under their father, Buddy, with the Arizona Cardinals in 1994-95.
The Bills next face Philadelphia, a team Rob Ryan faced with the Saints earlier this season.