It’s a family affair. Unsatisfied with the team’s continued failures against the league’s elite, the Atlanta Firebirds have added a familiar face to the coaching staff in Rex Ryan. Ryan, the infamous former head coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, has joined the staff of his twin brother, Rob, as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
Rex said the opportunity to coach with his brother, while still fulfilling his on-air duties with ESPN was too tempting to pass up.
“Damn I can’t wait to get back in there in the trenches and coach these boys up,” said Rex. “It’s about the love of the game. For me, it won’t be about the politics of the NFL, it’s about getting back in the classroom and teaching bust-you-in-the-mouth 101 to a real talented bunch.”
After a disappointing playoff blowout at the hands of the Orlando Rockets, there was speculation Rob Ryan would not return as the head coach, but management and coach found common ground. Rob said that he agreed to return as the head man this season only on the condition that management commit to getting him the talent to run a true 3-4 defense.
“Management has pussyfooted around getting me the players I really need to build an elite defense, but we were able to clear the air on that this offseason,” said Rob, hinting that the brothers may even sprinkle in some elements of the 46 defense made famous by their father, Buddy.
Outgoing defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil, who has been with the team since its inception, has taken a job at the University of Arizona. Offensive coordinator Dave Ragone returns.
“Dave has done a tremendous job. He’s got us among the best offenses every year,” said Rob. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The local food and drink economy is already buzzing over the hiring of Rex, with Joe’s Crab Shack signing on to host a weekly Ryan Brothers radio show. Exotic dancing establishment the Blue Flame is launching a Ryan Brothers Special, a 2-for-1 lap dance deal on Monday afternoons after a Firebird victory.
“The Ryan brothers have given something to the city, they’re very contagious,” said owner Chris Dunn.
At the end of the lengthy press conference, the assembled media was invited to a reception to “get some goddamn snacks.”