- The Washington Times - Monday, January 16, 2017

Among the first things noted by players about former Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry was his upbeat personality. When not frustrated by scheme or results, they enjoyed working around Barry’s bubbly persona.

In searching for his replacement, the Redskins ran up the personality scale to the top. Outgoing Rob Ryan was brought to Redskins Park on Monday to be interviewed for the open position, the team announced.

Ryan and his brother, Rex, have been two of the more bombastic members of the NFL since the brothers broke into the league in the 1990s. Rob is noted for his flowing gray hair, blitz-happy schemes and propensity to talk, the latter two also trademarks of his brother. That defense is their lifelong pursuit is no surprise for the sons of Buddy Ryan, who managed the menacing 1985 Chicago Bears defense, among numerous other NFL stops.

The Ryan brothers were most recently employed in Buffalo last season. Rob, in part, oversaw a defense that finished 19th in yards allowed. Both were fired Dec. 27 after the Bills’ 7-9 season.

Rob Ryan has worked as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 seasons. He spent four with the Oakland Raiders, two with the Cleveland Browns, two with the Dallas Cowboys, and three with the New Orleans Saints before being dismissed. His brother hired him in Buffalo to act as assistant head coach/defense.

In 2013, Rob Ryan’s schemes were effective. The Saints finished fourth in yardage and points allowed. Otherwise, his defenses have wobbled. In eight of his 12 seasons, his defenses have ranked in the bottom 10 teams in the NFL in points allowed. Redskins fans may recall the last time Rob Ryan was in Washington for work. The Redskins walloped the Saints, 47-14, on Nov. 15, 2015. Ryan was fired the next day.

In New Orleans, Ryan, 54, chose to use a 3-4 scheme, which the Redskins have been using as their base defense. But, the defensive problems for the Redskins go beyond scheme. They are in search of personnel help at safety, linebacker and defensive line. Washington’s defense ranked 28th in the league during both of Barry’s seasons.

The Redskins have also interview former Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine and former Jaguars coach Gus Bradley for defensive coordinator. Pettine spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets when Rex Ryan was the coach.

Washington is also in pursuit of an offensive coordinator after the Los Angeles Rams poached Sean McVay and made him the youngest coach in league history. The offense, ranked third in the league last season, is less of a concern.

The clock is starting to push against the Redskins as they try to fill the open coordinator positions. The Senior Bowl, which is a scouting haven, will be played Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala. The NFL Scouting Combine is a month later, running from Feb. 28-March 6 in Indianapolis. Both are crucial steps toward the NFL draft, April 27-29. Having coordinators in place before those events begin would be beneficial.

Tommy Chalk contributed to this report.

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