4 Downs: Why was Ravens' rush attack successful vs. Bears?
Rex Ryan still has fond memories of being a Ravens assistant coach for 10 seasons, including four as their defensive coordinator. However, Ryan is 0-2 against the Ravens since becoming the Jets head coach. He wants to change that Sunday at M & T Bank Stadium.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t special,” Ryan said during a Wednesday conference call. “So many of the guys that are still there in Baltimore that meant a great deal to me. I know a ton of guys on the coaching staff, it’s a great staff…It’ll be special to see them. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to go out there and win. Obviously, that’s what I want to do. I want to kick their butts, just like they want to kick mine.”
Ryan and Ravens coach John Harbaugh are still friends. Ryan was Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator for one season, before landing the Jets job. They also worked together as assistant coaches with the University of Cincinnati in 1996. “Cincinnati was the first time we worked together and really knew each other,” Harbaugh said. “I knew him a little bit from coaching circles. He was at Eastern Kentucky when I was at Morehead St. Man, that’s way back now. I don’t think he remembers that, but I do.”
Ryan said he had no hard feeling toward the Ravens, even though he wanted the Ravens job when Harbaugh landed it.
"I left on great terms," Harbaugh said. "I spent 10 years there and I love that organization. That said, now, I love this one more - it's as simple as that. That's where I'm at."
With the Jets (5-5) and Ravens (4-6) both fighting for their playoff lives, there will be other times for Harbaugh and Ryan to reminiscence. Ryan is looking forward to returning to Baltimore. But Ryan won’t be happy leaving unless he wins.