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Ryan takes the high road

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, December 24th, 2009 at 12:03 pm in Oakland Raiders.

If you expected Rob Ryan to need a dump truck to unload all the dirt accumulated as the Raiders defensive coordinator through five years, four head coaches and a certain owner with well-documented philosophies of how to attack an offense, you’ve misjudged the man.

The Browns defensive coordinator had nothing but good things to day about this days with the Raiders and working under Al Davis while talking to reporters in Cleveland. He noted the Raiders were “playing a different scheme” under John Marshall but at the same time refuted the notion that his own hands were tied by Davis.

Former coach Lane Kiffin, who unsuccessfully tried to have Ryan fired, only to be overruled by Davis, said the owner was “heavily involved” in defense to the point where he talked weekly with Ryan about game plans.

Kiffin said these things following the season opener, as he was setting fire to every bridge between himself and the head coaching job and waiting to be set free.

“That’s the biggest misconception there is,” Ryan said. “Not at all. Not at all until after the season.”

As for working for the Raiders, Ryan said, “That was llike a dream come true for me. Me and my brother always dreamed about being the bad guy and coaching for the Raiders. I learned a ton of football from Mr. Davis. It was a great experience. We didn’t win. It didn’t work out when I was there five years. I know a lot has been written about our defense but we were No. 3 in defense one year.”

The Raiders were indeed No. 3 overall in 2006, a season in which they finished 2-14. Ryan always bristled at the notion that the yardage figure of 284.8 was helped by the fact that opponents spent a lot of time killing the clock because they knew the Raiders couldn’t score on offense. In the other four years, the Raiders ranked 27th in 2008, 22nd in 2007, 27th in 2005 and 30th in 2004.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha credited Ryan with bolstering his confidence during a difficult transition from safety to cornerback. Ryan in turn had plenty to say about Asomugha.

“He just made himself a great player through his work ethic and studying tape,” Ryan said. The guy’s special. Truly is unbelievable. You hope and dream about getting these shutdown corners. They’re hard to find. His coach, Willie Brown, has helped him a lot. It’s fun when he’s on your sideline.”

Ryan marveled at Asomugha’s breakout season in 2006 when he intercepted eight passes.

“It’s hard to get interceptions in man coverage,” Ryan said. You’ve got to be able to get you eyes back and play the ball. I saw him just do some unbelievable things. Antonio Gates couldn’t do a thing with him. Nnamdi took two away from him.”

Ryan is still occasionally prone to exaggerating to make a point. Asomugha has only one career interception against the Chargers, and according to the NFL game book in 2006, the intended receiver was Vincent Jackson, not Gates.

Browns coach Eric Mangini worked with Ryan in New England under Bill Belichick and thinks his blustery, gregarious and enthusiastic nature serves its purpose, especially since the head coach is most often measured and calculating.

“The one thing that Rob is is passionate, he’s creative, he’s smart. I think you guys can appreciate he’s pretty funny too,” Mangini told Bay Area reporters by conference call. “It’s a good counterbalance for my personality. It’s a good team and there have been a lot of variables and there have been a lot of moving parts. He’s done well and I think we’ll continue to improve and continue to grow.”

Both Mangini and Ryan are in essence auditioning for their jobs after just 14 games with new exec Mike Holmgren arriving to remake the franchise.

“To be honest, I never thought about that,” Ryan said. “I was thinking of the Raiders. I know he’s a good football man, so I’m anxious to meet him and see what happens.”

More Ryan observations:

– “We played Charlie Frye when he was in Cleveland and I was in Oakland. This guy runs like crazy. He makes a ton of plays with his feet. It looks like he’s a good competitor. I remember him at the Senior Bowl. He was on our team. I was impressed with the way he handled himself.”

– “The backup QB (Russell) is the one I thought would be a superstar by now. He had that 77 rating his rookie year. I’m a little surprised he hasn’t become the superstar. I’m kind of hoping he doesn’t get in the game. That kid can throw it through a storm. I think the young man’s a good kid.”

– “Obviously you want to do well in front of your old team. So I guess that’s on my mind. My mind is to win our third game in a row, whatever it takes.”

More to come . . .

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  • M Lonetree

    ah the good ol’ days with Robbo.

  • http://sportmag.us/images/Lester_Hayes_November_1981.jpg RaiderDogg

    It appears that Nick Miller will never see the playing field this year. What a waste of a valuable roster spot! I understand keeping him active the first few weeks of the season with hopes that he will get healthy, but with so many glaring needs, how the hell does this team not put Nick Miller on IR by week 6 let alone THE ENTIRE SEASON?!

    WTF?

  • Mistabrown

    Mangini should fire Rob Ryan just for these moronic comments alone. Are you FUGGIN kidding me ?

    – “The backup QB (Russell) is the one I thought would be a superstar by now. He had that 77 rating his rookie year. I’m a little surprised he hasn’t become the superstar. I’m kind of hoping he doesn’t get in the game. That kid can throw it through a storm. I think the young man’s a good kid.”

  • Mistabrown

    Holmgren will dump Ryan like a hot rock. He can go get another job in 2 minutes.

  • Salvida

    “The Raiders were indeed No. 3 overall in 2006, a season in which they finished 2-14. Ryan always bristled at the notion that the yardage figure of 284.8 was helped by the fact that opponents spent a lot of time killing the clock because they knew the Raiders couldn’t score on offense. In the other four years, the Raiders ranked 27th in 2008, 22nd in 2007, 27th in 2005 and 30th in 2004.”

    Exactly… RR blew goats while he was a Raider.

  • Salvida

    RaiderDogg Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:13 pm
    It appears that Nick Miller will never see the playing field this year. What a waste of a valuable roster spot! I understand keeping him active the first few weeks of the season with hopes that he will get healthy, but with so many glaring needs, how the hell does this team not put Nick Miller on IR by week 6 let alone THE ENTIRE SEASON?!
    _____________________________________

    Especially when we coulda used Justin Miller on returns… how about that other roster spot by a WR, Shavon Walker… sad!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Looks like Justin Fargas is out. Looks like another week where Cable will have to “settle” for running Michael Bush…..

    Regardless of what you may think of DHB, one thing is conclusive…he had no business being a top 10 pick. THe Raiders could have picked anyone in the world, but they decided to be with him…..

  • ottocrat

    “If you expected Rob Ryan to need a dump truck to unload all the dirt accumulated as the Raiders defensive coordinator through five years…”

    Hehe…I love seeing the ‘Rob Ryan’ and ‘dump truck’ in the same sentence.

  • Richochet

    # Mistabrown Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Mangini should fire Rob Ryan just for these moronic comments alone. Are you FUGGIN kidding me ?

    – “The backup QB (Russell) is the one I thought would be a superstar by now. He had that 77 rating his rookie year. I’m a little surprised he hasn’t become the superstar. I’m kind of hoping he doesn’t get in the game. That kid can throw it through a storm. I think the young man’s a good kid.”
    ===========================
    Reverse psychology.
    Playing to Al’s “Hey, he’s right..PUT IN RUSSELL. Everyone knows Russell is a “great qb..get over it!”

    Then Ryan can smile and say “Oh..well..guess I was wrong…THANKS FOR THE W”

  • Salvida

    Anyone notice that all the good things said about Frye never seem to include his passing. A minor element to the QB position.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Salvida:
    I’d rather have a mobile, intelligent, creative, relatively accurate QB with pocket presence and leadership skils than one who was drafted higher than him who is our alternative.

  • Florida Pete

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Looks like Justin Fargas is out. Looks like another week where Cable will have to “settle” for running Michael Bush…..

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    it will be extremely difficult to re-train Bush into an explosive, linebacker seeking, crash test dummy…

    so we’re just going to have to settle for a certain level of elusiveness…

    clearly, it is a lack of commitment… after all the goal of a Raiders running back is to plow into the defense to wear them out…

    not to run by them…

    it leaves defenses too fresh for the 4th quarter…

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Salvida Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Anyone notice that all the good things said about Frye never seem to include his passing. A minor element to the QB position.
    ——————–
    Hello. ;-)

  • raiderzmaverick

    Yeah, I mean imagine a RB who can make people miss and break some tackles. Who would possibly want that?

    I’d definitely start the RB who runs into the guy in front of him and the RB who falls over the dandilion before starting that guy.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Salvida Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Anyone notice that all the good things said about Frye never seem to include his passing. A minor element to the QB position.
    ————————————-
    Hey – just wondering…..what are the good things said about Russell?

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Raiderzmaverick Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Yeah, I mean imagine a RB who can make people miss and break some tackles. Who would possibly want that?

    I’d definitely start the RB who runs into the guy in front of him and the RB who falls over the dandilion before starting that guy.
    ———————–
    Hello again. ;-)

  • raiderzmaverick

    Merry Christmas all – I’m out.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Salvida Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:27 pm
    Anyone notice that all the good things said about Frye never seem to include his passing. A minor element to the QB position.
    =======================================================
    Same thing about Fargas. A lot of good things never seem to include getting rushing yards

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    Kiffin said these things following the season opener, as he was setting fire to every bridge between himself and the head coaching job and waiting to be set free.

    “That’s the biggest misconception there is,” Ryan said. “Not at all. Not at all until after the season.”

    ________________________________________________________

    well just to make something clear, its offseason just before WEEK ONE/SEASON OPENER…. (not counting pre-season)

    I still think its funny when people say Al has nothing to do with defense during season, its quite obvious, but not only defense also offense…

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    I’m glad Ryan is on the other sideline this week. Dude is full of crap 24/7. Constant nonsense coming out of his mouth and so far his defenses haven’t been any good.

    This year’s D has been much more creative.

  • Florida Pete

    raiderzmaverick Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:54 pm
    Salvida Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Anyone notice that all the good things said about Frye never seem to include his passing. A minor element to the QB position.
    ————————————-
    Hey – just wondering…..what are the good things said about Russell?

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    he always cleans his plate…

    and he is always willing to eat leftovers…

    um…

    that’s about it…

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  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Hey – just wondering…..what are the good things said about Russell?
    —————————-
    -Strong Arm

    Which I believe is a cherished trait for a QB, no?

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  • Senior Beeecham

    Hey Krappy! Merry X-Mas Eve, my old pal!

    So what are your big plans for the holiday? Squeezing out a yule log in your pants? Going ice fishing near your chalet in Switzerland? Adding more lovely pictures of you and KrappyWife to the photos section of your real estate website?

    Either way, I’m hoping you and your grandson Brian the Genital enjoy yourselves at the final home game next weekend. Al has no idea what’s coming!

    Looking forward to a rewarding 2010 together!

    - Your pal
    Beeecham

    PS – Hey, have you seen that Ricochet kid attempting to steal your cut and paste technique? What a goof!

  • Stabler76

    I’d definitely start the RB who runs into the guy in front of him and the RB who falls over the dandilion before starting that guy.

    ==============================================
    that’s all too funny—-

    Maybe the two can be combined into a Super-RB who falls violently into the nearest dandelion.

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