Over the past week, fans of the NFC South have been looking at the very real possibility of a biannual competition between Buddy Ryan's sons Rob and Rex, as coaches for the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, respectively. With Rob Ryan locked in as defensive coordinator for the Saints, for at least another year, having his twin brother as the head coach in Atlanta would have spiced up a rivalry which most of the country hardly seems to notice.
Plus, the Falcons would finally have someone at the podium who is more interesting and likeable than anyone they have been putting in front of the camera in recent years.
Yes, Rex Ryan is popular. Was in Atlanta Tuesday. Will interview Wednesday w/CBS, as @MMehtaNYDN had 1st. Then Buffalo Thursday.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) January 7, 2015
After Rex's visit with the Falcons, things were looking good for the pairing. Many around the NFL began to expect him to land as the next head coach for the Falcons.
Atlanta Falcons coach search: Rex Ryan to get second interview, report says http://t.co/MJtejf9yk6— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) January 8, 2015
Atlanta made sense, as Rex would be just two hours away from his son, who has had a rough start to his college football career at Clemson. And his house in Tennessee would be only four hours away. So the Falcons certainly seemed to be in a better position to nab him. But did the Falcons think they could just keep him on the back burner while they weighed their options?
Rex Ryan's top choice was the Falcons. Made sense for his family too. However, ATL never scheduled 2nd interview. #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) January 11, 2015
Likely reading the same writing on the wall as everyone else who expected the slimmer Ryan twin to head to Atlanta, and possibly still reeling from their unexpected loss of head coach Dough Marrone, the Buffalo Bills decided to swoop in and nab Rex from the clutches of probable success in the NFC South.
.@RapSheet: "But while Falcons continued their search meeting w/ Todd Bowles late last night the Bills offered Rex Ryan the HC job."— NFL Media PR (@InsideNFLMedia) January 11, 2015
The Falcons might have found success with Rex, and certainly would have been a slightly more likable organization. But they didn't make a play, and missed their chance. Over the next few years, fans will get to decide whether the Bills were too desperate or whether Atlanta's front office missed an opportunity by sitting on their hands.
So why did he do it?
Source on why Rex Ryan chose the Bills: "They made him feel wanted." #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) January 11, 2015
Rex Ryan ultimately didn't feel like Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff was in his corner despite a productive 1st interview. #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) January 11, 2015
How do you feel about Rob Ryan's brother heading to Buffalo, and not Atlanta?
Falcons missed on not hiring Rex Ryan. Here's to more mediocrity in Atlanta.— Andrew McInerney (@RealMcInerney) January 11, 2015
I'm relieved Rex Ryan is going to the Bills, I think. Would've hated to deal with him as Falcons coach— Saints Nation Blog (@SaintsNationBlg) January 11, 2015
Personally, I'm still torn on whether or not I would want Rex Ryan in Atlanta. I like both of Buddy Ryan's sons, and I find it difficult to like any members of the Falcons organization. Plus, I wouldn't want them to have any success with a good coach who seems to just need the kind of decent quarterback the Falcons could provide him. But I admit that our rivalry with the Falcons would have been a little more interesting, and likely would have garnered much more national attention as one of the better rivalries in the league.