Ravens retain Ryan

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan has signed a new two-year contract, general manager Ozzie Newsome and Ryan confirmed Friday afternoon. Ryan, who was heading into the final year of his contract, said he has no intentions of leaving Baltimore unless he's offered an NFL head-coaching job.

The architect of the NFL's top-ranked defense was a finalist for the San Diego Chargers' vacancy filled by Norv Turner in late February.
"I'm very happy," Ryan said in a telephone interview. "It's what the organization wanted to do to begin with, and it was very fair once they got through all the numbers. It makes it so much better to get the contract done so I can just focus on coaching and doing the best job that I can with no distractions.
"I would have been fine if it hadn't gotten done, but you kind of would have had a little distraction when you know you've got to try to find yourself another job. This is where I want to be. The only way I'm leaving here now is if I can get a head-coaching job."
Ryan declined to discuss dollar-figures for a deal reportedly worth between $1 million and $1.2 million annually, other than to say his new contract isn't worth quite that much.
Miami Dolphins veteran defensive coordinator Dom Capers is the highest-paid assistant coach in the league with a three-year deal worth $8.1 million.
Negotiations began shortly after the Ravens' 15-6 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Colts and were completed within the past few weeks. "Rex has done a great job," Newsome said. "At some point, he will get the opportunity to be a head coach in this league."
A Ravens assistant for eight seasons, Ryan was promoted to defensive coordinator two years ago when Mike Nolan became the San Francisco 49ers' head coach. The son of legendary former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, Ryan has put his imprint on the defense with multiple schemes, including the 3-4, 4-3 and 46 alignments.
The Ravens finished fifth in total defense in 2005, and had the fewest points allowed in the NFL last season with only 201 (12.6 points per contest).
Baltimore finished first in yards allowed with 264.1 per contest, first with 28 interceptions and five returned for touchdowns, second overall with 60 sacks and atop the league in third-down defense.
Ryan said he was relieved and happy to have the contract addressed well before the regular season and training camp.
"Honestly, they could have kept me at the contract I was under and they had every right to do that," said Ryan, who started out in Baltimore as the team's defensive line coach working with linemen Rob Burnett, Michael McCrary, Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams. "That would have been fine, but it just makes it so much better to get the contract done.
"We've got a lot of really good coaches here, and we're fortunate to be with this kind of organization. This organization is like family. Shoot, I feel like a Raven. There's such a comfort level. We've got something special here, and we've got some unfinished business to take care of."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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