The San Francisco 49ers will interview former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan on Sunday, according to NFL Network reporter Kimberly Jones. The 49ers are expected to interview Adam Gase on Friday in Denver, and fit in a Mike Shanahan interview during their time in Colorado. There is no word on if the 49ers are flying Ryan in to Denver or Santa Clara, or if they will travel to meet him.
I've seen a lot of people complaining about how Rex Ryan is the antithesis of class. They say this shows Jed is full of crap when he talked about winning with class. While he has a big personality, talks some trash, and has shown to have a fairly, umm, active lifestyle with his wife, what about that is not classy? I've seen people complaining about the foot fetish stuff, but really, who cares? I can see why people might have problems with the trash talk, but personally I don't view that as the end of the world.
I spoke with our Jets blog, Gang Green Nation to get more input on Rex Ryan. I'll have more general strengths and weaknesses later, but I also asked them about Ryan's personality, and the off-field stuff. I had asked about that stuff because given the issues between Jim Harbaugh and Jed York, Rex Ryan seemed like a curious option. However, while he does have a big personality, it does not appear to be the kind to cause friction with Jed York and/or Trent Baalke. Sure, they might grow exasperated by his talking at times, but I could see him being a pretty easy guy to work with on a day-to-day basis.
Here is what GGN had to say:
Rex is a big personality in that he creates headlines, but by all accounts he's very much a team player within an organization. In fact, one could argue he is too much of a team player at times. I'll go back to that thing I mentioned about how he sometimes acted shocked by how many passes the Jets threw. It is pretty well confirmed that is because he didn't want to be too heavy handed with his coordinator's domain remembering what it was like to be a coordinator in Baltimore. The roster this year was bad, and reports have surfaced that Rex never raised any objections because presumably he didn't want to make any trouble.
For the second question, again Rex is a walking headline. I think in the last few years he made an effort to tone things down, but first impressions stick. When Rex came in, he did everything he could to bring attention to himself both good and bad. Because of that Rex is going to get a lot more attention for doing certain things than other coaches would. First impressions stick, and Rex created that impression of him. Every now and then you still see the old Rex come out in some press conference comment. I never got the feeling any of this ever really impacted the team in a negative way. In fact, Rex's players love him so much that at times the outside criticism this stuff created became a rallying point for the team.