Here we are again. The St. Louis Rams need a new defensive coordinator. On Tuesday morning, the team announced that Rob Ryan would not be hired for the job, days after it was reported that he had been hired.
After extensive conversations regarding defensive philosophy, the Rams and Rob Ryan agreed he was not the right fit for the DC position.— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) January 29, 2013
Chris Mortensen from ESPN reported that the deal fell through after a Monday visit in which Ryan and the team failed to come to terms on the scheme the defense would run.
After another visit Monday, the Rams decided Rob Ryan won't be defensive coordinator. Rams coach Jeff Fisher:"It wasn't a scheme fit."— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 29, 2013
Ryan has run both a 4-3 and 3-4 defense during his time as a defensive coordinator. Most of his recent work, including two seasons in Dallas, were leading a three-man front. That makes you think that the Rams were steadfast in sticking with the 4-3 defense, and Ryan, upon further consideration, didn't want to run it.
Then again, Ryan and Fisher had met before. Wouldn't the issue of defensive scheme have been raised then? Were there other issues left unresolved? Or did Ryan just have more time to think about it and change his mind? We don't know.
What we do know is that the Rams need a defensive coordinator. Ryan would have been a nice get, an aggressive move for the Rams in giving the defense an attack mentality. They can still find other candidates to fill position, candidates that fit with the team's vision.
Ryan was really the only name publicly bandied about for the role, the only guy actually linked in connection to the vacant position. There are some candidates on the current staff that could take over the role. Chuck Cecil, the defensive backs coach, and Dave McGinnis, the assistant head coach, are both former coordinators. Frank Bush, the newly hired linebackers coach, is also a former defensive coordinator, but his stint with the Texans in that role did not end well.
Coordinator or not, the Rams do at least have good deal of continuity with the position coaches, who filled in without a coordinator last year. The roster is anchored with talented, young players, all of them under contract for a few years to come. That stability is certainly an appeal for outside candidates, unless they're stuck on 3-4 I guess, and it's also a positive sign for the Rams' progress, regardless of who calls the plays.