Fox NFL analyst Sean Payton is finishing up his TV duties on Super Bowl Sunday as he transitions back to coaching. After the Denver Broncos hired Payton as head coach, he is in the process of assembling his coaching staff. Just like him, another former coach might be getting back into coaching after spending some time on TV.
According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Payton and the Broncos interviewed ESPN NFL analyst Rex Ryan for the Broncos’ defensive coordinator position.
A little Sunday morning scoopage: new Broncos head coach Sean Payton interviewed a surprise candidate this week to be his defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Rex Ryan @NFLonFOX
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) February 12, 2023
Ryan hasn’t coached since 2016, but his defensive mind could be an asset to strengthen an already stout Broncos defense. Given Payton’s prowess on the offensive side of the ball, it makes sense for him to look for a strong candidate to lead the defensive side. That very well could be Ryan.
Last month, Ryan whiffed on two predictions involving Payton. Ryan didn’t see Payton going to the Broncos “in a million years,” and that if Payton were to return to coaching, it would be in New Orleans with now-retired quarterback Tom Brady.
Rex Ryan on Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos: "I don't see this happening in a million years."
Ryan adds, "I could see [Payton] going back to New Orleans, and maybe bringing a quarterback named Tom Brady with him." pic.twitter.com/WKiWN9ING1
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 8, 2023
Payton worked with Rex’s twin brother, Rob, in New Orleans. Rob was Payton’s defensive coordinator with the Saints for three years after Payton returned from his season-long suspension for his involvement in a bounty program that paid players to knock opposing players out of games.
It remains to be seen if Rex leaves the confines of television for a return to coaching. When Ryan was considered for the Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator job in 2019, he mentioned how he wasn’t ready to leave TV. Four years later, maybe things have changed.