It sounds like a divorce case doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s simply a case of two brothers getting ready to wage war against each other in the NFL. First we have the verbose Rex Ryan, coach of the New York Jets. Then we have Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. They’ll meet Sunday in an AFC vs NFC battle that looks like two NFL teams headed in different directions.
Rex Ryan came into his head coach position and started off with a band, bringing the Jets to back to back AFC Championship games but losing both. Since then the Jets have gone through soap opera after soap opera and are still in the hunt, surprisingly, at 4-4. New York has been inconsistent with Geno Smith under center and Ryan has taken plenty of heat for his handling of the preseason, where he got Mark Sanchez hurt in a meaningless game, and his overall performance in the last two seasons.
Rob Ryan is enjoying new life with the New Orleans Saints where’s he’s taken the #32 defense from last year and turned into a respectable NFl unit, one that resides in the upper half of the NFL approaching the mid-point of the season. Ryan is credited with getting the best out of a beaten down unit with almost identical players from the worst losers in NFL history. His appearance and demeanor on the sidelines and at practive have fired up a Saints defense that is opportunistic and turnover hungry.
Ryan vs Ryan is an interesting matchup. Both brothers have a reputation as being defensive gurus tutored under their father, the explosive Buddy Ryan who won a Super Bowl with a Chicago Bears defense that was as powerful as any in NFL history. Neither the Saints nor the Jets have reached that height but you can bet that each of these Ryans is looking to get their teams fired up to win this one. It’s got to be special and Rob Ryan, who has never neaten his brother on an NFL field, will be looking to break that trend.Eric Drouant