Bisciotti wants Ryan back

`D' coordinator remains in running for Falcons' top job

Notebook

January 20, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

Rex Ryan left Ravens headquarters yesterday before the team introduced John Harbaugh as head coach.

But the Ravens made it known that they want their defensive coordinator back.

"I think very highly of Rex," owner Steve Bisciotti said. "I talked to [Atlanta Falcons owner] Art Blank about Rex a half-hour ago. If Rex doesn't get the Atlanta job -- and I hope he does -- then I hope he stays here."

A team official explained that the Ravens' coaching staff was "released" but not fired. That means the coaches could look for other jobs, but they could remain with the team if the new coach wants them.

Because Ryan is under contract for another year, the Ravens could block him from taking another defensive coordinator job under NFL rules. They couldn't stop him from becoming a head coach, so Ryan would be free to leave if he gets the Falcons' job.

"We're going to get a chance to talk to him," Harbaugh said. "He's a great coach and a good person. I know he's got some opportunities out there right now, so I can't see where that is going to go."

Harbaugh declined to mention names of coaches on other teams that he would consider for his staff.

Garrett postscript

Bisciotti acknowledged that Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was the team's first choice, but he said the team wasn't used by Garrett.

After Garrett turned down the Ravens' offer, he received a raise from the Cowboys.

"Jason is an honorable guy that was put in one of the most incredibly difficult and unique circumstances that any coach has ever been put through," Bisciotti said. "I respect him, and I have nothing but great things to say about Jason Garrett."

No hard feelings

There is a feeling among some of the Ravens' fan base that linebacker Ray Lewis pushed for the firing of Brian Billick, something that Bisciotti disagrees with.

"It bothers me that Ray would ever be perceived as caring more about his own agenda than he would about winning a championship," Bisciotti said.

Bisciotti added that Lewis has about four to five "good years left." Lewis is entering the final year of his Ravens contract.

"You see Ray Lewis running around this year doing what he did at 32 years old, [and] there's no end in sight for Ray Lewis," he said.

End zone

Bisciotti said he has not talked to Billick since firing him. "I'd like to soon," he said. ... General manager Ozzie Newsome went out of his way to mention that veteran coach Marty Schottenheimer said he didn't want to be a candidate until his son, Brian, was eliminated. ... Harbaugh said he got some advice from former majority owner Art Modell. "Mr. Modell said to bring good people in," Harbaugh said. "[and] I will not forget that."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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