NEW YORK (Reuters) The New York Jets have appointed Rex Ryan, the former Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator, as their new head coach, the NFL team said on Monday.
Ryan replaces Eric Mangini, who was fired after the Jets failed to make the playoffs and subsequently became the new coach of the Cleveland Browns.
“Rex is revered by his players and respected by his peers around the NFL for his innovative schemes,” Jets owner Woody Johnson said on the team website (http:/www.newyorkjets.com).
“There is no doubt in my mind that he has the expertise and instincts to build on the foundation that we have in place and take this franchise to the ranks of the NFL’s elite,” he added.
“He brings an aggressive, physical brand of football that will captivate our fans and ignite their passion.”
The Ravens, who had the second best overall defense in the NFL this season, lost their AFC Championship game to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-14 on Sunday
The Jets had interviewed a number of other coaches before settling on the 46-year-old defense expert.
“During our search, we were looking for a great football mind and a passionate leader,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said.
“Rex is a coach with an established track record who is universally respected by players and coaches for his skills as a communicator and his creativity,” he added.
Ryan, whose father Buddy was an NFL coach, spent 10 years at the Ravens, the last four of them as defensive co-ordinator and this year he was formally assistant head coach to John Harbaugh.
The Jets slumped during the final weeks of the season, missing out on a playoff spot from the AFC East after suffering a final day defeat to the Miami Dolphins.
Having filled the head coach slot, the next major decision involving the Jets will be over the future of veteran quarterback Brett Favre, who is considering whether to retire.
Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by John O'Brien