HOUSTON — Football fans will be seeing a lot more of Rex Ryan’s face on their TVs.
The former Jets and Bills coach will join ESPN’s “NFL Sunday Countdown” show on Super Bowl Sunday, according to Sports Business Journal.
Ryan has agreed only to be an on-air analyst for the network on Feb. 5, when the Patriots and Falcons square off in Super Bowl LI. But ESPN is a “front-runner” to ink the bombastic Ryan to a longer deal “if he’s unable to find a coaching job he likes,” according to SBJ.
Ryan was fired by Jets owner Woody Johnson in December 2014 and signed a five-year deal to become the coach of the Bills a few weeks later. But the Buffalo front office pulled the plug on the Ryan era after two mediocre seasons. He was fired days before the Jets-Bills season finale at MetLife Stadium and was replaced by offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.
The Bills hired Sean McDermott as their new coach earlier this month.
Ryan, who went 15-16 in Buffalo, is 61-66 in his head-coaching career. The gregarious and outspoken coach didn’t have trouble fielding offers for a new gig. Four TV networks — ESPN, CBS, Fox and NFL Network — reached out “almost immediately” to persuade Ryan to join the TV world, SBJ reported.
“Rex is a great personality and has a unique perspective,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Seth Markman told SBJ. “He knows the Patriots really well. He’s raring to go.”