Monday, January 12, 2015

Rex Snowed the Bills

"He was very impressive during the interview process, as were many of the candidates to which we spoke, and we feel Rex is the best fit for our team," [Bills owner Terry] Pegula said. There it is. There is the quote (from this ESPN story) I have been waiting to see to explain why the Bills hired Rex Ryan to coach the football team.
From the logical standpoint, the move makes little sense. First, I'll go over some positives:
1. Rex had proven he can win in the AFC East, especially against the Patriots.
2. He's a good defensive coach.
3. His ex-players love him.
4. Mike Pettine, a former Ryan disciple, really turned our defense around in 2013.
5. The hiring of embattled former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who favors a ground and pound run game is supposed to complement Rex's coaching style.

Now from a negative standpoint:
1. The Jets went 4-12 this year and haven't finished above .500 in four years.
2. The Bills absolutely spanked the Jets twice this year.
3. Rex is defensive coach and the Bills already have a great defense, and a solid defensive coordinator (Jim Schwartz) that, from my perspective, was somewhat similar to Rex as a head coach.
4. Also, Schwartz and Rex employ different defensive schemes (and quite frankly, Shwartz's worked pretty well this year.)
5. Bills don't have a starting QB and Rex has shown no ability to develop starting QBs.
6. I'm not sure Greg Roman is a good coach, as the 49ers offense, in the past four years when he's been OC, has ranked (going backward from 2014) 20, 24, 11, and 26 in yardage in the NFL.

My view is that Terry Pegula is new to the NFL and took on too much responsibility in participating in the head coach interviews and was dazzled by Ryan during the interview - which is typical Rex. Heck, New York writers loved the guy and that's no easy task. No doubt, Rex will be a fun head coach to have around, but as far as building a winning football team. Well (and hats off to the Pegulas for investing in Western NY, but) when the Pegulas bought the Sabres during the 2010-2011 season, they were a playoff team. They have not made the playoffs since and are currently the second-worst (to Edmonton probably, which is incidentally suing our OHL Junior team) team in the NHL. Not that the Pegulas don't have good intentions... but the Polian thing kind of neutered Doug Whaley and now it seems that the owner has been snowed by a fast talking ex-New Yorker....I don't expect this to end well for football fans in Western New York (and parts of PA for that matter.)

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