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Background on Falcons' coaching candidate Rex Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons might have their most anticipated interview of any head-coaching candidate on Tuesday when former New York Jets coach Rex Ryan comes to town.

Ryan is believed to be the favorite of Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who will make the final decision. Ryan's showmanship is sure to win over Blank, if it hasn't already. His brother, Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, says he has more football knowledge than any coach in the league.

The Falcons previously interviewed former Bills coach Doug Marrone, along with Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and current Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. The Falcons have interviews lined up with Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Here are some quick hits on Ryan:

  • Ryan is the son of former defensive guru Buddy Ryan, who earned fame for being the defensive coordinator and mastermind behind the "46" defense that helped the Chicago Bears win the 1985 Super Bowl.

  • Ryan, 52, is the twin brother of Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. They were born Dec. 13, 1962 in Admore, Oklahoma. Both were ball boys for the Bears when their father was coaching there.

  • Ryan attended Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, the same school that produced WNBA star Tamika Catchings.

  • Ryan played defensive end at Southwestern Oklahoma State. He wore No. 75.

  • Ryan's first coaching gig was at Eastern Kentucky as a graduate assistant coach (1987-88). His first NFL coaching position was with the Arizona Cardinals as defensive line/linebackers coach (1994-95) under his dad. The Cardinals had the league's third-ranked defense in yards allowed per game.

  • When the Ravens won the Super Bowl during the 2000 season, Ryan was the defensive line coach and former Falcons coach Mike Smith was the assistant defensive line coach under Brian Billick.

  • When Ryan became the Jets head coach in 2009, he said he wanted to start his head-coaching career where his dad started his coaching career. Buddy Ryan entered the NFL as the Jets defensive line coach in 1968.

  • Ryan went 46-50 during his stint with the Jets before being fired after the 2014 season. He went 4-2 in the playoffs and made it to two AFC Championship Games. Ryan's defense ranked 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 6th in total yards allowed from 2009-14.

  • Ryan previously went public with his battle against dyslexia.

  • Ryan underwent lap-band surgery to drop more than 100 pounds off his weight.