It turns out there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this: Anthony Lynn, a longtime Ryan assistant, was recently named head coach of the franchise. In addition, Ryan’s son Seth recently took a coaching internship there.
Rex Ryan rarely got the best of Tom Brady when he was the head coach of the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, but that wasn’t due to a lack of effort. In fact, Ryan is now willing to admit he did his best to get into Brady’s head before facing him.
“I used to put a lot of stuff out there knowing it would piss off Brady,” he said.
Knowing it would piss off Brady, or hoping it would piss off Brady? I think what Ryan really meant was the latter. As Mehta notes, Ryan once said in 2011 that there is no quarterback in the NFL who works harder than Peyton Manning and Brady only “thinks he does.”
Fast-forward to 2017, when Brady is about to play in his seventh Super Bowl and Ryan has never been to one. Overall, Brady went 12-4 against Ryan-coached teams and threw 29 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. Even Ryan is willing to admit the three-time Super Bowl MVP would be considered the greatest quarterback to ever live if he wins a fifth ring.
“I could see where Brady definitely would be considered the greatest ever if he won five Super Bowls,” Ryan said. “How could you argue that?”
One of Manning’s favorite targets already made similar remarks earlier in the week, so apparently five is the magic number for Brady. If he can lead the Patriots to a win over the Falcons, no one will be able to deny his greatness.
Rex Ryan may be out of a job as an NFL head coach, but he has one as an analyst — temporarily.
ESPN has hired Ryan to be an analyst on “Sunday NFL Countdown” for Super Bowl LI, they told Sports Business Daily.
Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand says Ryan was pursued by CBS, FOX, ESPN and NFL Network after being fired by the Buffalo Bills. Ourand also says this makes ESPN the front-runner to sign Ryan if he does not find a coaching job he likes.
Ryan spent six seasons as the New York Jets’ head coach from 2009-2014, taking the team to two AFC Championship Games. Then he spent the last two in Buffalo and was fired after Week 16 after going 7-8.
The 54-year-old coach is known for his big mouth and humor as much as he is for his coaching, so he should be a natural on TV.
Rex Ryan goes all-in when he gets a new job, which can make for some awkward moments if and when he loses said job.
When he landed with the Buffalo Bills, Ryan put his Ford pickup in a Bills wrap, similar to something you might see in a hypothetical Buffalo Super Bowl parade. Well, Ryan got fired in Buffalo, so he quickly got to work re-outfitting his truck, and here is the result.
The Buffalo Bills were planning to fire Rex Ryan at the end of the 2016 season, but the head coach accelerated the process by requesting a private conversation with team owner Terry Pegula. And in that meeting, Ryan reportedly sealed his fate by being loyal to his starting quarterback.
Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB provided some behind-the-scenes information about Ryan’s final days with the Bills. In his meeting with Pegula, Ryan learned that the team wanted to bench Tyrod Taylor for Week 17 rather than risking the quarterback’s contract becoming fully guaranteed in the event of an injury. That didn’t sit well with Ryan, who is said to have made a promise to Taylor.
More from Vrentas:
Both were obvious signs that the Bills were not committed to Taylor — or to Ryan, who had handpicked Taylor to be his quarterback. So Ryan, who for a few weeks had been hearing reports of his impending firing, asked to speak to Pegula one-on-one. Ryan had made a promise to Taylor, telling him that he’d be the Bills starting quarterback as long as Ryan was the coach. Ryan didn’t want to break his word, and he was worried how the team would respond. If you are already planning on firing me next Monday, Ryan told Pegula, then you might as well fire me now.
So Pegula did.
Taylor was coming off one of his best games of the season against the New York Jets, and we later learned he was playing through a significant injury. With Ryan’s days clearly numbered, the coach saw no reason to go back on his word just to please his former bosses.
Ryan may have deserved to lose his job, but the comments Bills general manager Doug Whaley made this week illustrate how deep the issues run within the organization. Rex has always been known as a players’ coach, so the story about his dismissal — which came slightly ahead of schedule — makes a lot of sense.
It’s becoming more and more clear that there were some serious issues in the Buffalo Bills’ locker room under Rex Ryan.
Two of the team’s star offensive players, running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Sammy Watkins, agreed that the team lacked discipline under Ryan, with Watkins implying that Ryan’s coaching staff was “scared” of the players.
“It’s discipline,” Watkins said Thursday, via Mike Rodak of ESPN. “Whatever around the locker room that needs to be addressed — on the field, off the field, flags, whether it’s a running drill, whether it’s something … we’re not good at. I just think being professional as players [needs to be] fixed first. Then the coaches have to be hard on us, not scared of us. Get at us, yell at us, curse at us. Whatever to get the play to do that job the best he can, that’s what they need to do.”
McCoy agreed, though he put more responsibility on the players.
“I think the discipline has been an issue,” McCoy said Friday. “I just think that if players just [need to take] accountability for their own actions. It’s one thing to talk about discipline and guys not [being] bought in. But if they’re not doing [their job], you can’t really take [them credibly]. I just think as players, as professionals, we need to step up and play accountable. That’s the biggest issue.”
McCoy said players often showed up late and didn’t know their assignments. They were fined, but he felt that given the high salaries of many players, it wasn’t an effective deterrent.
Between these comments and others made previously, it sounds like Ryan and the players really failed to connect with each other. In that sense, it’s no surprise that things came to such a brutal end in Buffalo.
It doesn’t sound as if Rex Ryan’s defense was all that popular with the players that he relied upon to implement it.
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus criticized Ryan’s defense was too much for some players to handle, and that Ryan spent too much time creating matchups rather than letting his team play to their strengths.
“I feel like we should’ve been just more aggressive on defense … because that’s the kind of players that we have,” Dareus told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “We want to put our foot on the pedal and keep it down knowing what we’re doing, and being strategic on what we’re doing. Not trying to matchup with this team, or that team. We want to have our identity (knowing) this is who we are, and what we’re going to do.
“It was just too much detail for a lot of guys, and I feel like for a lot of guys it was too much going on for them to check here and check there, if this happens and that happens. Then nine times out of ten, a team will throw something out there that we weren’t prepared for, and then the adjustment to it, we had to get used to and try to make it happen and make plays.”
That’s not a surprise, as the Bills rank 19th in the NFL in overall team defense. They have allowed a whopping 133.5 yards rushing per game, which is fifth-worst in the league. So much for Rex and Ryan being defensive geniuses.
Ryan’s own players questioned his defensive scheme publicly a year ago, and the coach admitted he was bothered by it. He obviously thought bringing in Rob might help. From the sound of it, Rob’s presence only made things worse.
It became clear a few weeks ago that Ryan was not going to be back for a third season with the Bills, though the belief was that owners Terry and Kim Pegula wanted to wait until the year concluded to fire him. Apparently they had seen enough.
Ryan finishes his Bills career with a record of 15-16. He is now 61-66 in his career as an NFL head coach, and it is unlikely that he will get another head coaching job unless he first spends time as a defensive coordinator somewhere.