Ravens' Ryan gets Chargers interview

Defensive coordinator to have shot at first head coaching job

February 14, 2007|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun Reporter

The San Diego Chargers have received permission to talk to Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan about their head coaching vacancy, according to league sources.

It will be the first head coaching interview for Ryan, who directed the NFL's top-ranked defense last season. Ryan will fly out today and be interviewed tomorrow.

In addition to Ryan, the Chargers have been granted permission to talk to three other candidates: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner and 49ers linebackers coach Mike Singletary.

Also, Foxsports.com reported that New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs is a candidate.

Ryan could not be reached to comment yesterday but said in December that his ultimate goal is to become an NFL head coach.

"Obviously, you want that opportunity, especially if you believe in yourself," said Ryan, the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan.

In Ryan's second season as coordinator, the Ravens finished No. 1 in defense for the first time in team history. They ranked first in the league in seven of 12 major defensive categories, including fewest yards (264.1 per game) and points allowed (12.6).

Ryan, 44, is the last of the Ravens' defensive coaches left from the team that won the Super Bowl in January 2001.

The Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer on Monday after an NFL-best 14-2 season in 2006, citing a "dysfunctional situation" between the coach and general manager A.J. Smith.

San Diego was upset by the New England Patriots in the divisional playoff round.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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