ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – The Buffalo Bills today announced that Rob Ryan has been hired as the team’s assistant head coach/defense.

“I’m excited to have Rob join our staff and I think he will be a great asset for our defense. He has a tremendous working knowledge of our schemes and I look forward to his input,” said Head Coach Rex Ryan. “On a personal note, it’s been a number of years since we have worked together and so we are both really looking forward to this opportunity.”

Ryan comes to Buffalo with 28 years of coaching experience, 17 in the NFL. He has served stints as a defensive coordinator with the Oakland Raiders (2004-08), Cleveland Browns (2009-10), Dallas Cowboys (2011-12) and the New Orleans Saints (2013-15) and has four years of experience heading up defenses at the collegiate level.

In 2013, New Orleans finished fourth in the NFL in total defense – a 28-spot improvement from 2012. Giving up just 305.7 net yards per game compared to 440.1 in 2012, the 134.4-yard-average improvement was the biggest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The Saints ranked in the top-10 in many defensive categories, including sacks (fourth), pass defense (second), scoring defense (fourth), third down conversion percentage (ninth), touchdown passes surrendered (sixth), yards after the catch (second) and big passing plays allowed (fifth).

Under his tutelage in 2011, Dallas’ team defense improved to 14th overall in the NFL and seventh against the run after finishing 23rd in the 2010 opponent net yardage rankings. In 2012, the Cowboys were one of only three teams in the NFL to have two players with 11 or more sacks. Cowboys opponents were held to a 43.9% third down conversion rate, ranked tenth in the NFL.

Before landing in Cleveland, Ryan spent five seasons as Oakland’s coordinator. For his work in 2006, Ryan was named the USA Today All-Joe Coordinator of the Year. In that same season, the Raiders defense led the league in pass defense (150.8 ypg.) and ranked third in total defense (284.8 ypg).

Ryan spent four seasons (2000-03) as the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots. In his time with the Patriots, Ryan was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams – XXXVI and XXXVIII.

Ryan began his NFL coaching career in 1994 as the defensive backs coach under his father, Buddy, for the Arizona Cardinals. In his first season in Arizona, the Cardinals boasted the NFL’s third ranked defense. The Cardinals led the league with 42 takeaways in 1995.


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