Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan doesn’t like watching from the stands. He’d rather be on the sideline with a chance to affect the outcome.
He will make an excep-tion Sunday in Indianapolis as he and his famous dad, Buddy, will watch twin brother Rex coach the Jets in the AFC championship game.
“It’s all about Rex and the Jets,” Ryan told The Chronicle by phone Thurs-day. “They have the best defense in football and the best coaching in football.
“So they have a great chance.”
Rob works for Browns coach Eric Mangini, who was fired by the Jets follow-ing the 2008 season and replaced by Rex. Mangini has taken a ton of shots from the New York media as the Jets have made their unexpected run, but Rob said the dynamic doesn’t put him in an awkward situation.
“I wasn’t there in New York with Eric,” Rob said. “I know what I see right now. Whoever drafted the guys or where they came from, I believe in the head coach.
“Those players believe in Rex, that’s why they’re playing so well. If you’ve got talent, there’s a better chance when the players actually give a (shoot) about the team and the organiza-tion. They’re a close, tight team.”
The Ryans are known for their large personalities almost as much as their coaching. Rex made head-lines all year in the New York tabloids and didn’t stop when the playoffs started. Before their wild-card game in Cincinnati, he said the Jets should be the favorite to get to the Super Bowl.
Maybe speaking your mind is learned in the womb, because Rob never minced words in his weekly press conferences this sea-son and fully supports Rex.
“You hate to keep hear-ing coaches say the same old (B.S.),” Rob said. “It’s great to hear a coach actually say what he feels.”
The Ryans are one of football’s all-time great families.
Buddy was linebackers coach for the Jets when they upset the Colts in Super Bowl III and the architect of the 46 defense with the Bears, winning the Super Bowl in 1985. In his first year as a head coach, Rex has done something Buddy never did in seven years as the man in charge: win a playoff game.
Rex has won two straight and stands a step from the Super Bowl.
“It’s a great experience to watch your brother win playoff games as a head coach,” Rob said. “It’s awe-some.”
Rob won two Super Bowls as an assistant with the Patriots, but not before Rex won one as an assistant with the Ravens. Rob was in the stands for Baltimore’s victory in 2000 over the Giants.
“I don’t know if it’s nervous. I think it’s excited,” he said. “I hate watching anything in the crowd, but seeing your brother in the Super Bowl is pretty emotional. It’s neat as hell.”
Rex and the Jets are 7½-point underdogs to Peyton Manning and the Colts, but have been a trendy pick this week. Rex’s blitzing defense ranked No. 1 in the NFL this year, allowing 14.8 points and 252.3 yards a game.
“I’m not gonna make any prediction,” Rob said. “But I definitely believe in the Jets. Rex has got them play-ing at a great level.
Contact Scott Petrak at (440) 329-7253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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