Rex Ryan could be on the verge of an NFL return.
According to ESPN, which cited unidentified sources, the former Jets and Bills head coach and current analyst is a “name to watch” for the Chiefs’ vacant defensive coordinator position.
The report noted Ryan has been approached about defensive coordinator openings in recent seasons.
The rumors come one day after Kansas City fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. The firing was announced Tuesday, just two days after the Chiefs suffered a 37-31 overtime loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship.
Despite making it to the title game, the Chiefs’ defense was statistically one of the worst in the league this season, ranking last in passing yards surrendered and last in average yards per rush.
“Bob is a good football coach and a great person,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “He played an integral role in the success of our team over the last six seasons. I’ve said before that change can be a good thing, for both parties, and I believe that is the case here for the Chiefs and Bob. This was not an easy decision, but one I feel is in the best interest of the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward.”
Ryan, 56, last worked in the NFL in 2016 when he served as the Bills’ head coach. He finished his tenure with a 15-16 record in two seasons as the team failed to reach the postseason each year.
Prior to his stint in Buffalo, he served as the Jets’ head coach from 2009-14. He posted a 46-50 record and earned a playoff berth in his first two seasons at the helm. He also served as defensive coordinator for the Ravens from 2005-08.