IRVING, Texas -Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has had a little extra incentive to get his team ready to play this Sunday. When the Cowboys face off against the Cleveland Browns, Ryan will face the team that he was defensive coordinator for during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Despite a defense that forced the eighth most interceptions in the NFL in 2010, the Browns management did not like the direction that the team was heading and they decided to fire Eric Mangini and much of his coaching staff. That included Ryan.
Ryan's been in the NFL long enough to understand that it is a business, but on Friday he admitted that he hasn't exactly forgotten about the Browns' decision to part ways with him.
"Anytime you pour everything you have into it and apparently management didn't see it as it was good enough, of course it's personal."
Ryan went on to joke that his commitment to the organization should never have been in question, even while the team was clearly struggling.
"I spent a lot of time in those offices," Ryan said. "In fact, I slept in them for seven straight weeks when I said, 'I'm not going home until we win a game.' I'll never say that again."
Ryan also rejected the notion that he considered himself a candidate to take over as head coach of the Browns stating his loyalty to Mangini.
"No, I came in with Eric and I was proud to go out with him," Ryan said. "I don't think a coach does that, not in my situation. Eric's a good friend of mine."
According to Ryan, as soon as the Browns chose to cut ties with Mangini, Ryan chose to cut ties with the Browns.
"It's not like they asked me to stay," Ryan said. "But they should have. But I would have said no."
He did, however, explain that he did enjoy the time that he spent coaching a lot of the defensive players there and was happy to point out that there are still plenty of talented defensive players on the Browns roster who Ryan still has a relationship with.
I love some of those players that are still there," Ryan said. "I still love some of those guys, but I plan on beating them."
Ryan is not the only member of the Cowboys' coaching staff who will be facing his former employer. Secondary coach Jerome Henderson coached the defensive backs in Cleveland for the past three seasons before joining the Cowboys staff thus year. Linebackers coach Matt Eberflus held the same position with the Browns while Ryan was the defensive coordinator there.