PHOENIX — Rex Ryan joked that he has a theory why, despite his family connections to the team and his availability after leaving the Jets, the Bears never called to talk about their head coaching vacancy.
“I don’t know,” he said Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meetings, “I must have done a bad job as a ball boy there or something.”
Ryan served as the team’s ball boy throughout high school; his father Buddy was the Bears’ defensive coordinator from 1978-86.
Given his defensive expertise, many thought Rex Ryan to be a good fit for the Bears after he was fired by the Jets and the team let Marc Trestman go.
But the Bears never inquired, he said.
Ryan — who was later hired as the Bills’ head coach —said he expected the Bears to call.
“I actually did, but they got a great coach there with John Fox,” he said. “I did. I thought, It made sense to me.
“But apparently it never made sense to them. So that’s the way it is.”
Gary Kubiak, another coach the Bears courted, said that when he announced he would stay as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, it was because “I wanted to respond to that quickly, and I was very impressed in terms of of what I was doing.”
Things changed, though, when Fox left the Broncos, and Kubiak left Baltimore to work for old friend John Elway.