If anything, you know the Buffalo Bills will be the one team this season that will produce the greatest quotes from its coaching staff. Now that there are two Ryan brothers – Rex as head coach and Rob as defensive coordinator – on the staff, anything and everything is possible.
This past week is an indication we should all hope onto out hates and wait for the winds to blow from northern New York.
Rob Ryan pulled no punches when he talked to the media after OTAs about his time in New Orleans as the Saints defensive coordinator. To say the two years in New Orleans was anything but the Big Easy might be the biggest understatement of the early offseason.
As Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote, Ryan touched on just how he felt leaving the organization.
Instead, the session typically had all sorts of regrets, excuses, chest-puffing and settling old scores before moving on. Rob Ryan, for one, would like you to know that the Saints’ last-place defensive finish over the last two years while he was the coordinator was not his defense.
“Oh, we are dead last in defense,” Ryan told Jenny Vrentas. “Well, yeah, you are going to be dead last playing this bull– defense. But it is my fault because I didn’t say anything. I never stood up and said, F– you, I ain’t coaching this. I promise you I’d say it now.”
It was vintage Ryan, whose brother Rex has said a thing or two in his head coaching gigs with both the New York Jets and Bills that have left reporters speechless. It may also be the undoing of this team should Buffalo not make the playoffs this season.
Rob Ryan continued his candidness with the media, letting everyone within an earshot that it “wasn’t his fault the Saints defense was so terrible, that it wasn’t his defense to begin with.”
As he continued…
“…But the truth of the matter is, you let an All-Pro safety walk, Malcolm Jenkins, and lost your two best leaders on the team, him and Roman Harper,” Rob Ryan continued. “We changed the entire style of play. It was strange. But hey, I did the best job I could. And it wasn’t good enough. They should have fired me. They probably should have fired everybody that made that decision to go in that direction. Now I’m going to move my whole family over here to Buffalo for a reason: to go kick everybody’s ass, including theirs.”
Before the NFL Draft, team ownership was clear in its directive – this franchise needs to make the playoffs or there could be sweeping changes in management and the coaching staff.
To his defense, Ryan is not off when he claims the Saints were not as concerned for the defense as they were about offense, where once again Drew Brees was one of the better passers in the league. When the team was winning Super Bowls and challenging for playoff appearances, the defense was better, more talented. Now, on the downside of winning and a team that lost itself two seasons ago, there is still a need to get better. The Saints finished last in the NFL in total defense.
The Bills did what they could to give the defensive coach new toys for the unit in the 2016 draft. After selecting Shaq Lawson to help with the pass rush in the first round, the Bills went back to the well and grabbed inside linebacker Reggie Ragland to give them an enforcer in the middle. The third round brought them Adolphus Washington, a defensive tackle from Ohio State.
The most interesting pick of this draft class might be Cardale Jones, but he is a quarterback and will not help on the other side of the ball.