Hoping to stay put

Ryan says he wants to remain in Baltimore

Ravens defensive coordinator

January 25, 2008

Rex Ryan denied yesterday that he has talked to other teams about being their defensive coordinator, saying he hopes his situation works out with the Ravens.

New Ravens coach John Harbaugh has yet to name a defensive coordinator, but he can retain Ryan because he has a year left on his contract.

There have been talks that the Ravens would give Ryan a raise if they decide to keep him. Ryan is expected to make between $1 million and $1.2 million a season, but he likely would make significantly more if he could pursue other jobs this season.

"All I know is that I'm coaching the Ravens right now," Ryan said. "I hope everything works out financially, but I'm going to my office at the Ravens [today]."

Ryan met with Harbaugh on Saturday, the day the Ravens introduced the former Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach.

In Mobile, Ala., this week to scout players in the Senior Bowl, Ryan said he has spoken to Harbaugh every day.

They coached together at the University of Cincinnati in 1996, when Harbaugh was the assistant head coach and Ryan was the defensive coordinator.

It has been rumored that the Ravens consider San Diego Chargers linebackers coach Ron Rivera as the fallback option for defensive coordinator, but a league source said Harbaugh favors Ryan.

A Ravens spokesman said Harbaugh won't comment on coaching hires until they become official.

"I know John Harbaugh and I like him," Ryan said. "If I didn't get hired, I'm glad he did."

There have been a couple of rumors circulating about Ryan, who has been the Ravens' defensive coordinator for the past three seasons:

That he recently met with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who was ready to pay him a sizable contract to become their defensive coordinator.

That he was disgruntled about staying with the Ravens after he wasn't a finalist in their head coaching search.

Ryan said all that is untrue.

"I know people in the [Ravens] organization, [and] I'm not uncomfortable with what happened," Ryan said.

Ryan, though, had his sights on becoming a head coach this season.

He was long considered a top candidate for the Atlanta Falcons' opening, but the Falcons surprisingly hired Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith, a former Ravens assistant.

"I'm disappointed, but Mike Smith is a great guy," Ryan said. "I'm happy for him."

Ryan has been among the hot assistants in the NFL the past two seasons.

Last year, he was a finalist with the Chargers, who decided to go with Norv Turner. This year, Ryan interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Ravens, Falcons and Miami Dolphins.

It has been a frustrating process for Ryan, who has watched the Ravens' previous two defensive coordinators - Marvin Lewis and Mike Nolan - land head coaching jobs.

"One day, I'll hopefully get an opportunity. If not, so be it," Ryan said. "It's not like my kids are starving. I've made a lot more money in coaching than I ever thought I would."

Unless the Redskins want to talk to Ryan about their head coaching job, he is likely done with interviews this offseason.

Ryan said he is eager for his life to return to normal.

"I'm looking to get back to coaching. That's what I do," Ryan said. "I'm not sure about all that other stuff. But I do know that I can out-coach you."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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