Buffalo Bills Rex Ryan Hires Brother To Handle Bills Defense

ryan brothersFormer New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan who was fired in November, will be joining his brother as the Buffalo Bills assistant head coach for defense.

“I’m excited to have Rob join our staff, and I think he will be a great asset for our defense,” Rex Ryan said in a statement. “He has a tremendous working knowledge of our schemes, and I look forward to his input.”

The Ryan brothers have not worked on the same staff since 1995, when both were assistants with the Arizona Cardinals under their father, Buddy Ryan.

“On a personal note, it’s been a number of years since we have worked together,” Rex Ryan said. “And so we are both really looking forward to this opportunity.”

The move comes after Ryan and team officials traveled to Florida for end-of-season meetings with Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula.

Last season, Buffalo was led on defense by coordinator and longtime Rex Ryan assistant Dennis Thurman. The Bills did not mention any other staffing changes beyond the addition of Rob Ryan.

Asked about Thurman last week, Rex Ryan would not comment specifically.

“I don’t want to say anything until we talk to our coaches,” Ryan said. “Some coaches may want to be here, may not want to be here, whatever it is.”

Hired in January after six seasons with the New York Jets, Rex Ryan closed his first season in Buffalo with an 8-8 record, and the Bills extended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to 16 seasons. The Bills’ defense fell in several statistical categories this season and finished 19th in yards allowed and 15th in points allowed.

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