Ryan Talks A Great Game, But His Teams Rarely Play One
Rex Ryan has been an NFL head coach for eight years and neither of his teams – the New York Jets nor Buffalo Bills – reached the playoffs over the last six seasons.
The four-year drought cost him the gig with the Jets; the failure to turn the Bills around over two campaigns led to his dismissal on Tuesday with one game left in another season turned sour.
Ryan talks a great game, but his teams rarely play one. The Jets, of course, reached the AFC championship game his first two seasons but then came undone amid a raft of personnel changes and Mark Sanchez’s failure at quarterback. With the Bills, the defense never really jelled and the addition of Rex’s brother Rob as an assistant only exacerbated the problems.
Ryan was the big-splash hire of the Bills’ new owners, Terry and Kim Pegula. Even without Ryan, the Pegulas are again face to face with the NFL’s lengthiest playoff absence. The Bills have not been to the postseason in this century. A 16-year-old Bills fan wasn’t born the last time the Bills played in the playoffs (following the 1999 season).
Ryan will surface somewhere … as something. He’s bluff and funny and would be terrific on TV. He’d probably be at least a serviceable defensive coordinator if he wants to keep on coaching.
He’s fun to listen to, amusing to watch, but he didn’t win enough. And guys who don’t win enough get fired. The popular expression is that NFL stands for Not For Long. At the end of each season, when the coaching herd gets thinned, it means ‘Nother Firing League.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman