This whole Rob Ryan and the St. Louis Rams thing ... there's a lot of questions, a lot of angles, man.
Signed dotted line or not, Rob Ryan is a person Rams fans will be talking about over the weekend. Better get to know this fella, huh?Let's start by answering a few questions.
Why did Rob Ryan get fired by the Dallas Cowboys?
Here's Jerry Jones in a taped interview with his first comments after dumping his defensive coordinator.
"I didn't like the way we were playing in a lot of cases. I thought we could play better before the injuries, and so I factored that in. It wasn't like we had a lot of injuries out here when we played Chicago. It wasn't like we had a lot of injuries when we played Seattle. I didn't like the way we played there.
"It's not hard for me to go to those games and say what can we do to improve when we played Seattle and when we played Chicago, and I liked the way we played in subsequent games and I know we didn't have the talent level on the field that we had when we played Seattle and Chicago."
He didn't like the way his team played against Chicago in a Week 4 loss. Sure. I understand. But what about Tony Romo's FIVE interceptions?
Short answer: Jerry Jones is fucking crazy.
Will the Rams switch to a 3-4 defense under Ryan?
Unlikely. Fisher's married to his defensive scheme, and the Rams are pretty heavily invested in their core defensive players. Chris Long and James Laurinaitis will account for a huge portion of the salary cap in 2013. Shifting away from a successful defensive formula from this season just doesn't seem likely.
Short answer: The Rams are not the Browns.
Has Ryan ever run a 4-3 defense?
In fact he has run a four-man front. Ryan had the distinct pleasure of working for Al Davis from 2004 through 2008. Oakland's best record during that stretch was 5-11. Also, the Raiders.
Sometimes being a good coach, good coordinator means knowing how to use what you have. Ryan would come to the Rams finding a very good foundation of a defensive line, a young unit bookended by a pair of good pass rushers, surrounding power and push.
Short answer: Yes. Probably not that big of a deal.
Are we ready for Rob Ryan, the character?
St. Louis is so ready for some sports characters. The Rams had no identity for long. The city's in love with the most tedious of all professional sports. Mizzou and the not-so fightin' Illini are the top college football operations. Fans here need some excitement in their sports.
Feel free to form your own judgements. There's risk involved in the hire, if it happens.
Also, there's this ...