Buffalo Bills: Deserving or Not, Rex Ryan Gets One More Chance


Despite overseeing the regression of a top-rated defense and failing to back up his big talk, Rex Ryan has been given a reprieve by the Buffalo Bills owners.

A lot of Buffalo Bills fans were hoping to see the back of Rex Ryan, on the back of an extremely disappointing season. Unfortunately for them, he isn’t going anyway – at least not yet.

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Ryan will return as head coach next season. Rightly or wrongly – along with general manager Doug Whaley –  he’s going to be given a chance to turn things around.

The news was confirmed in a statement by Bills owner Terry Pegula: “As our first full season as owners of the Buffalo Bills draws to a close, management, coaches, players, and fans all feel that our expectations were not met.

“Kim, Russ and I look forward to working and collaborating with Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan in forming a winning future for the organization. Our management team and coaching staff are very capable and work well together.”

Perhaps most telling, was the final part of Pegula’s statement: “This stable foundation is necessary to achieve long-term success in the NFL.”

Jan 14, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pagula , head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley after a during a press conference at ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

No one is expecting the type of stability enjoyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have only had three head coaches since 1969. However, there is no denying this is the type of model the Bills should aspire to.

Just don’t mistake this for meaning that Ryan has nothing to worry about. Major improvements will be expected next season.

This includes resolving the issues on defense, where he failed to live up to his reputation as a defensive guru. In fact, he managed to mess up what was one of the best units in the NFL.

Entering the final game of the season, the Bills are ranked 16th in points allowed and 20th in yards given up. This is a far cry from a unit which was ranked fourth in both areas the year before, with virtually the same personnel.

On top of this, Buffalo is currently second-worst in the NFL with only 20 sacks, after leading the league with 54 in 2014. Not surprisingly, this regression made it difficult for players to buy into the new system.

Mario Williams was particularly vocal in his criticism, and reports indicate he will not return to the team next season. Despite strong believing that Williams handled this in the wrong way, his frustrations are understandable.

Another area where Ryan has to change, is his need to make bold predictions to the media, such as guaranteeing a playoff spot for the Bills this season. There’s nothing wrong with having confidence in your team, but it makes you look like a joke when you continually fail to deliver on your promises.

In this respect, at least the Ardmore, Oklahoma native has admitted he made a mistake. As reported by Mike Florio of profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, Ryan said: “Obviously I wish I wouldn’t say some stupid thing that I said.

“My heart was in the right place, I thought I’m telling the truth. But at the same time, it’s like I never look at it as what if this doesn’t go exactly the way I expect it to go.”

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Ryan has a long way to go, to regain the trust of a lot of Buffalo Bills fans. However, if he can defeat his former team the New York Jets on Sunday and deny them a playoff spot, this will represent a good start.