Debate: Rex Ryan as Patriots Defensive Coordinator in 2013?

It seems impossible, but for the sake of fun, let's not rule it out. Would you want Rex Ryan to come to New England to coach the much maligned Patriots defense? Would Rex want to do that? Would Belichick? 

These are the questions we at PatriotsLife had some varying opinions on. Here's a recap of our e-mail debate. Be sure to chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

James Bucklin:
My [arguments against this focuses on] how a loud-mouth like Ryan could never be acclimated into the tight-lipped "Patriot Way." He and Belichick would clash when Ryan tried to get too big for his britches and it would probably end up in an overall messy situation. The first time Ryan spoke out about something another player said or did would probably be the last time since he'd be out the door. Plus, how could Rex ever forgive Welker for all the foot comments?

First, the foot comments are moot. Rex understands funny, and he knows that was funny. I don't see Rex as the type of person that can't take a joke, especially considering his reaction to beating Belichick in the most overrated coaches poll. I don't think it would be an issue at all, in fact I think Welker and Rex would be hilarious together. Second, as far as never being able to acclimate to the tight-lipped "Patriot Way," I really think this is overstated. As the DC, I don't think you mind a little bit of cocky. You want that swagger, and I think because of Bill's respect for Rex, he'll let him talk. The biggest thing with Bill is respect, and as long as Rex boasts respectfully, Bill will not have a problem. If Rex comes on as DC, there will be a mutual understanding between the two of them. For Rex, he will come in with the understanding that he needs to calm it down a little, and for Bill, he will come in with the understanding that Rex is always going to be supremely confident in his defense, and will not mince words. As long as Rex doesn't disrespect other teams, I don't think him talking will be too much of an issue.

Ian Edlund:
Ya but in order to run his mouth he would actually need to formulate a better patriots defense. If he came on board and the defense stayed ranked in the 20s the swag wouldn't be warranted.

That being said I don't think it would be a bad move. Rex has a proven defensive résumé and I think him as a head coach is too big a roll for him to handle. If he was focused on one aspect of the game then he could become the best in the league.

Oh, definitely. There is no way Rex talks on the Patriots without backing it up. Also, when Rex was the DC of the Ravens, did anyone hear from him? No. He only started talking once it was his show. I think he definitely has more media coverage now, so some things that may have stayed in the Baltimore market will get national coverage. But still, I REALLY don't think Rex talking would be the biggest impediment to him coming here...And I agree that he could be one of the best DCs in the game, and I can only imagine how hard he would get for Brandon Spikes. It would be his new Bart Scott. Just an absolutely tapped animal just wrecking people. It's the only thing Rex loves more than feet. I think the one thing this defense has been missing is that swagger of a great defense, and that is the number one thing that Rex brings to your team, a swagger that they are going to beat you not just physically, but mentally.

Mike Saver:
The main problem I see is how huge of an ego hit this would have to be for Rex Ryan. After claiming he wasn't going to kiss Belichick's Super Bowl rings and blasting the Patriots for four years, now he's suddenly going to become Belichick's subordinate? Don't see it happening. Also, while perhaps the experience with the Jets has taught Ryan to be a little more tight lipped, I think that boisterous attitude is just part of who he is. Remember, when he was with the Ravens he was begging John Harbaugh to do that whole "giving the team the schedule up to the Super Bowl parade thing". Ryan would just have to change who he is too much to make this work.

Yeah, definitely Mike, the hardest part is him being below Belichick. But, this notion of whether we'd want him as the DC comes with the thought that he cannot get another Head Coaching job. Because there is no way he is going back to being a DC if he can be a head coach. So, if we go under that premise, then is there anyone in the NFL that Rex respects more than Belichick? I honestly don't think so. Yeah, he talks shit about not being scared of Belichick, but honestly, I think that talk is borne out of respect. He talks shit, but when he talks shit, there is always some form of, "he's a great coach, but" or "I have all the respect in the world for Bill, but." Rex understands greatness and Bill is truly great. Additionally, I think Rex sees the opportunity that is the Patriots defense. They have the best offense in the league, so as long as he brings the defense to top 10-15 in the league, the Pats should be set in the fast line for a championship every single year. Rex DCs a couple of championships and people forget about what happened with the Jets the last two seasons, and remember those first two seasons and give him another shot as a head man.

Mike Saver:
Another part we might be overlooking is, does Belichick want Rex Ryan's defense?

We can all agree that Belichick respects the hell out of Ryan and vice versa, that doesn't mean he subscribes to his defensive philosophy.

Let's not forget that Belichick is also one of the greatest defensive minds (as easy as it is to forget that these days) and he's gotten as far as he has with a specific philosophy. In an ideal world, maybe Belichick would say fuck it and just let Rex do his thing, but I really don't see that happening. Bringing Rex in to coach the defense would be as much an ego hit for Belichick as it would be for Ryan. It might be a dream duo, but that's just it. Only in your dreams.

You bring up a good point here, and maybe this is the crux that doesn't let this work. But, if you bring in a guy that has been a head coach in this league, and demands as much respect as a defensive mind as Rex, there has to be a little leniency, and this is something Bill understands. I don't think it is going to be just Bill or just Rex coming up with a defensive gameplan. They will work together to determine the best defense for that opponent. They both run multiple defenses switching between the 3-4 and 4-3, both were big champions of the 3-4 defense in it's heyday (which is slowly being fazed out, but still).

However, the biggest thing that could be the problem is like you say, the philosophy. Rex likes his defenses to be aggressive, where Bill has moved towards a very bend-but-dont-break style. This I think is where Bill would have to give ground. They can make the gameplans together, they can teach together, but if you are hiring a big-name defensive coordinator, you have to let him bring something to the table. This is the reason you hire Rex. You hire Rex because you think he can bring a new style to your defense. Rex wont expect Bill to hand the keys to the defense completely over to him, but he will expect to be able to put his imprint on the defense. Without letting him put his imprint on the D, what is the point of hiring him?