Saturday, May 05, 2007


Rex Ryan looked happy, sounded chipper and appeared to be ready to hop up on that defensive horse of his and ride it to the top of the NFL rankings again in 2007. And while Rex will never be mistaken for the jockeys competing in today’s Kentucky Derby, he looked much svelter than he has in days past when he and Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen looked like interchangeable parts.

As I watched and listened to Rex coaching up Prescott Burgess, I couldn’t help but think how fortunate the Ravens are to have him return for another season. And then I wondered if this season might be his last with the Ravens. Actually I assume it will be and when he gets another opportunity to tour the vacant coaching positions after the 2007 season his resume will read, “Former defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens.”

Then what?

Who will be around to take over? When Mike Nolan left, Rex took over and the transition was smooth. Virtually no one else was even considered. Who will get the nod when Rex leaves?

Some of have said Jeff Fitzgerald. And while Coach Fitz is an excellent position coach I have to wonder if his excitability projects well to the position of coordinator.

Consultant Vic Fangio doesn’t have the rapport with the players and for the moment his role with the club isn’t very defined or it may not even exist at all. Others have mentioned defensive line coach Clarence Brooks as a candidate as well, a position previously held by Rex Ryan.

And then there is a wild card – free agent defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson who just happened to be at Ravens headquarters yesterday.

I looked at Rex and I saw Donnie over there and it was definitely one of those things that make you go hmmm…

And then I thought back to the time when Jim Fassel was on the scene as a consultant.

Perhaps there is a plan in place.

With the Ravens, there’s always a plan in place.


Anonymous said...

Henderson would be a good replacement. The players are familiar with him and he's had experience with the position. But Rex will leave big shoes behind to fill. Let's hope they can keep the nucleus together and that Ryan's replacement doesn't come in and try to recreate the wheel.

Oh and I hope Rex isn't the next coach of the Cleveland Browns after Crennel gets canned following yet another 6-10 season.

Purple Haze said...

Hate to say it but my dream scenario was this...Billick's previous contract expires after 2007 and he is replaced by Rex Ryan. We now know that can't happen given Billick's 4 year extension.

Rex will be gone after this season. I think bringing Donnie Henderson back on board is the right thing to do since there isn't a clear cut favorite to replace Rex from the current merry band of defensive coaching characters.