Popular coordinator Ryan in running for head job

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Rex Ryan made his bid to become the
Baltimore Ravens' third head coach Sunday, interviewing for several
hours with the team's search committee.

The popular defensive coordinator was the fourth candidate to
meet with the Ravens, after Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach
Jim Caldwell, Dallas Cowboys assistant head coach Tony Sparano and
Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Ryan, 45, and the rest of the coaching staff were fired last
week along with coach Brian Billick by team owner Steve Bisciotti
following a 5-11 season. The son of former NFL head coach Buddy
Ryan, he coached the Ravens' defense to rankings of fifth, first
and sixth over the past three seasons.

"I think Rex would be a very good choice," Ravens wide
receiver Derrick Mason said. "I've had experience with a former
defensive coordinator coming in and being a head coach, with
Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher. Rex, he's in the mold of Jeff
Fisher, and I think he can do a great job."

Ryan is also expected to interview with the Atlanta Falcons and
the Miami Dolphins this week.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are expected to meet with other candidates
this week during the second phase of their search, including
New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and
Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.