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Sean Payton on Rob Ryan: 'I think he's going to be a head coach'

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Will Rob Ryan ever land a head coaching job? (USATSI)
Will Rob Ryan ever land a head coaching job. (USATSI)

More NFL: Coaching change tracker | Playoff Bracket

It was almost exactly a year ago when the Cowboys, coming off a 2012 season in which the defense ranked 19th in the league, fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

And though his comment then of "I'll be out of work for like five minutes" seemed a little braggadocios for a coach who had just been canned, that doesn't mean he was wrong. After all, the Saints, led by Ryan as coordinator this season, went from a team ranked dead last in the league in 2012 to a team ranked fourth in 2013.

Yet when we're talking about defensive coordinators getting interviews for open head coaching spots this offseason, Ryan is not on the list (that includes, in part, Cincinnati's Mike Zimmer, Arizona's Todd Bowles, and Seattle's Dan Quinn).

Ryan got an interview a few years ago for the Panthers job, but other than that, Ryan hasn't received much interest lately. But that doesn't mean he won't ever rise to the level of his brother in New York. Ryan's immediate boss thinks Rob Ryan will eventually.

“I think he's going to be a head coach,” Payton said on NBC Sports Network, via PFT. “I think he's got a personality that starts with being passionate about the game. He's also exceptional within the framework of the staff and I think as owners and general managers look closely at candidates, there's a handful of things that would be important and compatibility ranks right there at the top.

“So he's someone that is very well liked within the building from the business side to the football side. I think he's got a great way about getting the players to play hard, making it exciting and putting them in the best positions possible and again communicating that message with his staff. It's been a team effort on that side of the ball and I think that here's a guy that grew up around football and those experiences are invaluable.”

Perhaps we'll know more this weekend if the Saints can avenge their 34-7 loss to the Seahawks from earlier this season and advance to the NFC title game by winning in Seattle. At that point, perhaps another look at Ryan would be a good idea for those in need a new head coach.

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