New Jets head coach Rex Ryan is keeping busy hiring assistants for his staff.
With his coordinator spots filled, Ryan turned his attention to position coaches, adding wide receivers coach Henry Ellard from the St. Louis Rams and Doug Plank from the Atlanta Falcons.
Earlier today, NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reported that Ryan also hired running backs coach Anthony Lynn from the Cleveland Browns.
Ellard, an ex-Rams wide receiver who helped turn Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt into Pro Bowl pass-catchers, left for the Jets, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today. New Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo is bringing in Charlie Baggett from the University of Washington as Ellard’s replacement.
Ellard sounded sad and excited at the same time when he talked with the Post-Dispatch about leaving an organization he broke in with in 1983 in Los Angeles:
- “It’s hard to believe,” Ellard said Saturday. “It’s been a wonderful eight years. It’s sad that it comes to an end, but in this profession you know it happens.
- “When I sat down with Scott for the first time (in ’06), he said he wanted me back. With Steve, he told me he couldn’t guarantee anything. I respect that. He said if you have an opportunity to take something else, I understand.”
- Ellard flew out of Mobile, Ala., and the Senior Bowl Thursday morning for New York and his interview with the Jets’ new head coach, Rex Ryan.
- “I’m looking forward to the challenge and working with the guys there,” Ellard said. “It’s a whole new start.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that Plank’s strong connection with Rex Ryan’s father, Buddy Ryan, might have helped him land with the Jets:
- Buddy Ryan thought so much of Doug Plank that he named his defense for the number Plank wore — 46.
- So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Ryan’s son, Rex, thought so much of Plank that he made him one of his first hires after he became head coach of the Jets.
- Plank has been hired as assistant defensive backs coach, and the former Bears safety will work with the safeties, NFL sources told the Tribune on Saturday. Plank had been working as a roving assistant coach for the Falcons, but was interested in becoming a position coach.