After a one-year hiatus, Rob Ryan is back in the NFL. The longtime defensive assistant, last seen with Washington in 2019, has been hired as the Baltimore Ravens' new inside linebackers coach ahead of the 2021 season, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley. Best known for his polarizing run as a defensive coordinator with four consecutive teams, and as part of a storied family that includes former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan and former Jets coach Rex Ryan, the 58-year-old will be making his second coaching comeback in three years.
Prior to his last role in the NFL, as ILBs coach during Jay Gruden's final season atop Washington's staff, Ryan had been out of the league for two years, taking up a broadcasting career. He began the 2016 campaign as an assistant head coach under his brother, Rex, with the Buffalo Bills, although both were fired prior to the end of the season as the team finished 7-9 and out of the playoffs for the 17th straight year. Before that, Ryan served as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders (2004-2008), Browns (2009-2010), Cowboys (2011-2012) and Saints (2013-2015).
Ryan does have a background coaching linebackers, as he held that position with the New England Patriots from 2000-2003 as part of Bill Belichick's original staff. Boasting two Super Bowl rings from that tenure, he began his coaching career back in 1987, assisting at five different colleges prior to his first NFL gig, with the Arizona Cardinals.
He's not the only addition to defensive coordinator Wink Martindale's staff in Baltimore, which lost previous LBs coach Mike Macdonald to Michigan and employed Rex Ryan as its DC from 2005-2008. Former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver is reportedly also joining the Ravens as a defensive run game coordinator for 2021.