There'll be plenty of time to think, starting tomorrow, if the rumor becomes reality. Right now I'm just going to react, at the reflexive level.
Rob Ryan? Sure. I'm in. One word--takeaways. Rob Ryan defenses create turnovers. True, his 2010 Cleveland Browns D posted only modest thefts--19 interceptions and 9 fumble recoveries. True, those 28 takeaways are two fewer than the Cowboys generated. But Ryan clearly will continue to emphasize turnovers, as Paul Pasqualoni did in the final eight games of the season, when the Dallas defense doubled its takeaway total compared to the first eight games under Wade Phillips.
Takeaways are not just happy accidents, or serendipity, or simply "being in the right place at the right time." They can be taught, coached, practiced, game-planned and injected into a defensive system, culture and mindset. Remus "Rob" Ryan, son of Buddy and twin brother of Rex, is a sturdy branch on the NFL's leading takeaway family tree.
Rob Ryan defenses are aggressive, creative, unpredictable and surly. His 3-4 credentials should make for a relatively easy transition in Dallas. He has seven years experience as a DC with the Raiders and Browns and earned a couple of Super Bowl rings coaching the Patriots' linebackers from 2000 through '03. He also has coached DBs under his dad at Arizona, where in 1995 the Cardinals led the NFL in takeaways with 42.
Ryan is dynamic and personable, and will not shrink from the spotlight that is always aimed at the Dallas Cowboys. If it's true--and I think it is-- that football units tend to take on the characteristics of their coach, the Dallas D under Rob Ryan will be colorful, volatile, confident, dynamic, aggressive and competitively arrogant.
I like all of that.
And is there a chance that Ryan's relationship with free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha could work in our favor? Hmmm.
This hire passes my Fan Emotional Reflex Test. Will attempt starting tomorrow to engage the rational portion of my fan brain, if in fact it still exists.