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Rob Ryan can fit in fine with Garrett

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Jan. 21, 2011 @ 1:57 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Some naturally have wondered aloud whether Rob Ryan, the Cowboys' new defensive coordinator, could fit with the serious, straight-laced Jason Garrett in Dallas. The simple answer is: yes, of course.

Ryan, the twin brother of Jets head coach Rex Ryan, has just as much bombast in his personality as Rex, who set the media and fan worlds on fire the past two seasons in New York. People in Dallas are imagining similar media-circus events with Rob Ryan in Dallas, a town where Cowboys news rules the Internet year-round.

But all you need to do is look back at Rob Ryan's recent history to know he should be fine when it comes to filing in line. First, he served under Bill Belichick and then, most recently, under Eric Mangini in Cleveland. Both head coaches put serious restrictions on how often their coaches spoke, although Ryan had weekly press conferences as the defensive coordinator in Cleveland. Ryan often was a big hit with the media there, but our sources say he was never perceived as a threat to undermine Mangini as head coach.

And even a look at Rex Ryan shows he can stay in line. He was defensive coordinator in Baltimore under John Harbaugh — a fiery, serious coach whose personality compares to that of Garrett — and rarely upstaged anyone or got out of line there.

Most observers believe that bringing Rob Ryan to Dallas is a coup, even if he might not have been the first choice for the job. He has extensive 3-4 experience and hasn't worked with this much talent since he was coaching the Patriots' linebackers during their Super Bowl heyday.

Ryan is expected to have a lot of autonomy over the defense, so it will be interesting to see what he does with CB Mike Jenkins and OLB Anthony Spencer, both coming off disappointing seasons. There also is talk about moving Jay Ratliff to defensive end, where he wouldn't take as much punishment and face as many double-teams as he did at nose tackle.

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