Today, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan hired his twin brother, Rob, on the team’s defensive staff. As confirmed by Bills beat writer Joe Buscaglia, Rob Ryan is not being hired as defensive coordinator, but rather as “assistant head coach/defense.”
This means that current Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman will maintain his current position. Thurman has worked as a defensive assistant underneath Rex Ryan for the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens prior to both coaches joining the Bills for the 2015 season. To the surprise of many, the Bills finished in the bottom-third of defenses in 2015, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, after finishing second overall in the same statistic in the 2014 season.
Rob Ryan has had difficulty producing results in his last few jobs as defensive coordinator. Rob was fired by the New Orleans Saints in the middle of this season after working as their defensive coordinator since 2013. Previously, Rob Ryan had difficult tenures as defensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys (2011-2012) and Cleveland Browns (2009-2010). The last time that Rob Ryan held a job other than defensive coordinator when he was the New England Patriots’ linebackers coach from 2000-2003, winning two Super Bowls under Bill Belichick in those four seasons.