The Atlanta Falcons coaching rumor mill has hit full stride, with reports that Rex Ryan has an inside track to the job and could be named within the next day.
Ryan was set to interview in Atlanta on Tuesday, but sources close to the organization say it may be largely a formality as the team could name Ryan the head coach within days, or possibly less. The Falcons already interviewed in-house minority candidate Keith Armstrong, fulfilling their obligation under the Rooney rule and leaving them available to make a hire whenever they choose.
As long as Ryan’s interview goes smoothly — or even not disastrously wrong — the former Jets coach is expected to take over the job vacated by the hiring of Mike Smith.
As ProFootballTalk notes, Ryan would be a very attractive candidate to the Falcons.
“The Falcons should want Ryan, given what he can do with a defense that desperately needs a kick in the butt. Ryan should also want the Falcons, since they have a franchise quarterback and a pair of guys who helped Bill Belichick put together a team that won three Super Bowls in New England.
“So six years after Ryan declared upon becoming head coach of the Jets that he doesn’t plan to kiss Belichick’s rings, maybe Ryan will land in a situation where he can win one or two of his own.”
There have actually been rumors circulating for weeks that Rex Ryan is headed to the Atlanta Falcons, even before he was fired by the Jets at the end of the team’s disappointing season. Ryan had actually interviewed with the team in 2008, before he took the job with the Jets.
Couple of sources reiterated today that Rex Ryan to #Falcons seems natural considering need to upgrade D & that he interviewed there in 2008
— Jason Cole (@JasonPhilCole) December 19, 2014
The hire could have larger implications across the league. With Rex Ryan likely to go to the Atlanta Falcons, experts believe it could set off a chain reaction as other teams snatch up coaching candidates for fear of losing out.