Ryan is entering his 20th NFL season after spending the 2016 season as the Buffalo Bills assistant head coach/defense. Prior to joining Buffalo, Ryan held defensive coordinator roles with the New Orleans Saints (2013-15), Dallas Cowboys (2011-12), Cleveland Browns (2009-10) and Oakland Raiders (2004-08).
Ryan led a defensive unit in New Orleans that ranked No. 4 in the league in points-per-game and No. 2 in the league in passing defense in 2013. In the 2013 postseason, the Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs and entered the game with the league’s No. 2 ranked offense.
During his two-year tenure as the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, Ryan worked with OLB Demarcus Ware who posted 10-plus sack seasons in both seasons. Ware finished No. 2 in the league in sacks in 2011 with 19.5, the second most in a single season in his 12-year NFL career.
Ryan spent the 2009-10 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. His unit ranked No. 13 in the league in points allowed in 2010. Ryan was also instrumental in the development of rookie CB Joe Haden who posted six interceptions and finished tied for the fifth most in the league that season.
Ryan got his first defensive coordinator position in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and held the role for five seasons from 2004-08. In 2006, his defense finished the season No. 3 in yards-per-game. He worked with CB Nnamdi Asomugha who posted eight interceptions in 2006 and finished tied for third in the league that season. During his tenure with Oakland, he also worked with DE Derrick Burgess who posted 10-plus sack seasons in 2005-06 and led the league in sacks in 2005 with 16.0.
Prior to joining the Raiders, Ryan served as the linebacker’s coach with the New England Patriots from 2000-03. Ryan was part of a defense in 2003 that ranked No. 1 in the league in points allowed and No. 7 in total defense. During Ryan’s four years in New England, the team captured two Super Bowls, defeating the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI and defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Ryan got his start in the NFL coaching under his father, Buddy Ryan, as the defensive backs coach with the Arizona Cardinals from 1994-95. He was the position coach for Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams who registered 15 interceptions during the two seasons under Ryan. Williams’ nine interceptions in 1994 were tied for first in the NFL that season.
RYAN FOOTBALL TIMELINE
1987: Defensive Assistant, Western Kentucky
1988: Outside Linebackers Coach, Ohio State
1989-93: Running Backs Coach, Linebackers Coach & Defensive Line Coach, Tennessee State
1994-95: Defensive Backs Coach, Arizona Cardinals
1996: Defensive Coordinator, Hutchinson Community College
1997-99: Defensive Coordinator, Oklahoma State
2000-03: Linebackers Coach, New England Patriots
2004-08: Defensive Coordinator, Oakland Raiders
2009-10: Defensive Coordinator, Cleveland Browns
2011-12: Defensive Coordinator, Dallas Cowboys
2013-15: Defensive Coordinator, New Orleans Saints
2016: Assistant Head Coach/Defense, Buffalo Bills
2019: Inside Linebackers Coach, Washington Redskins