Atlanta Falcons are moving ever closer to making former New York Jets coach Rex Ryan their new head coach, with reports suggesting that the two sides are mutually interested in one another.
Rex Ryan is in the process of interviewing for a whole host of NFL jobs, just as the Falcons are in the process of interviewing an array of candidates for their head coaching post after they fired Mike Smith following a terrible 2014 season.
According to reports, Ryan was interviewed by the top brass at the Falcons on Tuesday and the interview was said to have lasted over five hours, with the length of time understood to be a sign that both parties are seriously interested in one another.
Ryan will get a second interview
NFL.com reported today that Ryan did leave the Falcons' facility without a contract, but NFL insider Ian Rapoport has detailed that Atlanta are extremely likely to call Ryan back for a second interview in the near future.
"The length of the interview is proof of mutual interest, even if both parties are moving on to their next round of interviews," wrote NFL writer Chris Wesseling.
- Rex Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are a match made in heaven
- Rex Ryan in the running to land Atlanta Falcons HC role
- Rex Ryan should have been fired in 2013, says Jets owner
"Rapoport reported Wednesday morning, per two sources informed of the search's progress, that Ryan is expected to get a second interview in Atlanta when they bring in finalists for their head coaching job," the website added.
Ryan in demand despite failures
It's somewhat surprising that Rex Ryan is in such demand after his acrimonious exit from the New York Jets.
The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator had an extremely successful first two seasons at the Jets, leading them to back to back AFC Championship Games. But his reputation has taken a huge hit after the four winless seasons that followed that first two years in New York.
However, it's understood that the Falcons are interested in a defensive-minded head coach to improve their shocking effort on that side of the ball.
The move could potentially work, with Ryan undoubtedly still being one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. Plus, Ryan's biggest problem at the Jets - the quarterback position - would be solved at the Falcons, with franchise quarterback Matt Ryan at the helm.