Thoughts on Rex Ryan to the Buffalo Bills


Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a fairly painless unemployment process for former head coach Rex Ryan. He was probably the most popular man on the head coaching carousel, as Rex was invited for several interviews for coach and television positions. Many thought, including myself, that Rex would end up in Atlanta if given the choice, but that turned out not to be. Rex Ryan is set to be the next head coach of our division rivals, the Buffalo Bills. The word is he has signed a five-year contract worth $27.5 million.

As a big Rex fan, as most of you know I am, I wanted to bring you some thoughts on his taking the job.

First of all, I absolutely hate that Rex is staying inside the AFC East. Maybe I am a cynical person, but after all of these years as a Jets fan, it has become part of me. I just feel like the stage is set for the Bills now to kick the Jets in the rear end, twice a season, for the next five at least. Hopefully I am wrong, but being a Jets fan all of this time, I just feel like this is going to happen.

Secondly, everyone has to leave Rex alone about making this decision. I heard a lot about how he has rushed, made the choice too soon, went to the wrong place..etc. Rex gets the right, folks, to make the best decision for his family. He wouldn’t do it any other way. Had he gone to Atlanta, he would have been just two hours away from his son, Seth, at Clemson University. We have all heard how much Rex loves being around Seth. Don’t you think if that opportunity presented itself he would have said yes? If he decided to go to Buffalo, there was obviously a reason. We have the right to agree or disagree, but not to judge him.

By the way, it wasn’t such a bad football decision either. Let me tell you why.

Next: The Bills Defense

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Michael Vick

(1) is sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive end

Mario Williams

(94) during the first half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Not only is Rex walking into a similar situation with the Bills defense, you could argue that the Bills defense is just a bit better than the current Jets defense. The Jets may have been ranked sixth in the NFL, but Rex inherits a Buffalo defense that ranked fourth in the league.

The Jets did have a better run defense, ranked fourth in the league compared to the Bills being ranked 11th. But, in heading up to Buffalo, Rex inherits a defense that can actually stop the pass. They were ranked third in the league in pass defense, and the Jets, well, stunk. Rex is heading to a defense, built similarly to his previous one, but can defend the pass. Think about it.

And by the way, we know how much the Rex Ryan concept revolves around the pass rush, right? The Bills led the league is sacks with 54.

Next: The Bills offense

Dec 15, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back CJ Spiller (28) runs against Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker

Paul Posluszny

(51) during the first half of the game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

On offense, Rex, you could argue, has better weapons now than before. A healthy C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are a better duo than Chris Ivory and an aging Chris Johnson. Don’t use 2014 as both of the Bills players were injured. Go back to 2013, when the Jets had a run attack good for sixth in the league. In the same year, the Bills were second!

Right now, Scott Chandler is better than anything the Jets have at tight end. Will Jace Amaro get there? Yes. But he isn’t there yet. The Jets have nothing that even resembles Sammy Watkins. Sorry, we don’t. Robert Woods is as good as anything we have also. Like it or not, Rex is walking into an offense that is also better than he had with the Jets.

Yes, Rex is still without a great quarterback. I am not saying that E.J. Manuel is the next Jim Kelly. Not for nothing, by the way, but Manuel has thrown for more touchdowns than interceptions. I am not saying he is great, but Rex will be getting a quarterback that has some idea of how to protect the football. That being said, Rex does need a quarterback up there. But, if they can get the position right, watch out for the Buffalo Bills.

Next: The Experience Factor

Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach

Doug Marrone

(L) talks to New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan (R) prior to their game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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Let’s not forget the factor that Rex already knows the division. He has been in it for six years. If Rex is going to go to a new team, why not stay within the division? He already knows the landscape. There is no learning curve. It makes sense.

Rex Ryan didn’t rush. He actually made a pretty decent decision for himself.