It turns out that Sean Payton may not be the only NFL head coach turned TV personality that’s planning on making his return to the sidelines.
Payton reportedly interviewed a surprise candidate this week as his defensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos. Fox’s Jay Glazer reported early Sunday morning that former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan — now with ESPN —interviewed for the defensive coordinator opening on Payton’s staff.
A little Sunday morning scoopage: new Broncos head coach Sean Payton interview a surprise candidate this week to be his defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Rex Ryan @NFLonFOX
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) February 12, 2023
Rather than be retained by Payton, former Broncos DC Ejiro Evero elected to take the same position on the Carolina Panthers coaching staff under Frank Reich. To fill the opening created by Evero, Payton looked to a familiar family member, as Rex’s twin brother, Rob, served as his defensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2013-15.
This isn’t the first time Payton has looked for a former NFL head coach to be his defensive coordinator. New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen was Payton’s defensive coordinator in New Orleans after an unsuccessful stint as the then-Oakland Raiders head coach. Allen, who ultimately succeeded Payton, served as his DC from 2015-21.
As for Rex, he coordinated the Baltimore Ravens defense from 2005-08 before a couple of stints as a head coach in the AFC East. He was responsible for coordinating and overseeing some of the league’s best defenses between his time in Baltimore and New York, as he won four playoff games and clinched multiple AFC Championship Game berths as Gang Green’s head man.
The NFL world reacted to the shocking Broncos coaching news.
Patrick Surtain in a Rex Ryan defense >>>>>>> https://t.co/K8EW0kYmEd
— Will Parkinson (@Willpa11) February 12, 2023
Very interesting that the #Broncos talked to Rex Ryan about their DC position. Was very successful as the #Ravens DC years back, interesting to see how it plays out
— Bobby Thompson (@BThomps81) February 12, 2023
As a Chiefs fan, I wholeheartedly support the Broncos hiring Rex Ryan.
The NFL hasn’t changed at all since Ryan was a game-changing defensive presence. And in a division with Mahomes and Herbert, I definitely think Ryan makes perfect sense.
Do it, Denver. https://t.co/ODFC8o0eLS
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) February 12, 2023
This is the Rex Ryan I love. His defenses were always aggressive and physical. https://t.co/fm9gwlvtvN
— Polish Filipino (@PolishFilipino) February 12, 2023
Interview Tony Romo for OC and all three networks can be repped by the Broncos. https://t.co/2wBh2bCryO
— Ryan Talbot (@RyanTalbotBills) February 12, 2023
Hold on, what? 😳 https://t.co/ZriVmcDWpH
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) February 12, 2023
Jets play the Broncos this season… https://t.co/IblQS9Mi3z
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) February 12, 2023
Rex has been trying to get back into the NFL for a few years now. Would be fun seeing him get to work with that cast of talent in Denver. https://t.co/hSHC0K1tnP
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) February 12, 2023