- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Washington Redskins made another change on their coaching staff Wednesday — hiring Rob Ryan as inside linebackers coach.

Ryan, the twin brother of former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan, replaces Kirk Olivadotti, who recently joined the Green Bay Packers for the same position.

The Redskins‘ decision to hire Ryan falls in line with the team’s desire to add more experience on staff. Ryan and new defensive backs coach Ray Horton have both been long-time defensive coordinators who are now taking smaller roles as positional coaches.

That may seem odd, but Horton and Ryan last coached in 2016 — when Horton was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns and Ryan was an assistant head coach on defense for Buffalo under his brother.

The Redskins explored moving on from defensive coordinator Greg Manusky this offseason, reaching out to potential candidates Todd Bowles, Steve Wilks and Gregg Williams. Those three, however, landed with other teams and Washington decided to keep Manusky for 2019.



Washington’s defense ranked 16th in 2018, but sputtered over the last half of the season. Washington lost six of its last seven following quarterback Alex Smith’s injury and the defense wasn’t as effective propping up the offense. Former safety D.J. Swearinger publicly criticized Manusky’s play-calling after a game later in the season, which led to his release.

Ryan brings a fiery demeanor to the Redskins. The 56-year-old’s energy was already on display Wednesday in Atlanta, the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl, when he told reporters his players were going to “dent some helmets” next season.

The veteran coach, whose long, flowing hair stands out as much as his bravado, said he was excited to work with coach Jay Gruden and Manusky. Ryan also interviewed for the Redskins‘ defensive coordinator vacancy in 2017 before Manusky was promoted.

Before Buffalo, Ryan served as the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints (2013-15), Dallas Cowboys (2011-12), Cleveland Browns (2009-10) and Oakland Raiders (2004-08).

Ryan hasn’t been a linebackers coach since 2003, when he was with New England.

“I’m just looking to be part of something great,” Ryan told reporters. “They had a great defense last year. I’m walking into a great situation, a perfect situation, with the right mood in the building. I’m real fortunate to come into something so special.”

The Redskins have also had other changes their coaching staff this month. On Tuesday, they announced they promoted Kevin O’Connell to offensive coordinator, moved Matt Cavanaugh to senior offensive assistant and re-signed defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.

In addition to those moves, Washington hired special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor after Ben Kotwica left for the Atlanta Falcons. Brian Angelichio was hired to coach tight ends, replacing Wes Phillips.

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