Bills coach Rex Ryan: ' I was slapped down with humble pie'
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan watches on the sidelines during NFL action against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y. in a file photo taken December 30, 2012. (REUTERS/Doug Benz/Files)
Rex Ryan, the quote machine, seldom disappoints.
The Buffalo Bills head coach’s roundtable Tuesday morning was one of the most popular at the AFC coaches’ breakfast, on Day 2 of the NFL’s annual meeting.
Why didn’t the Chicago Bears want him? He’s got a quip.
Why did he remain in the AFC East? He’s got bravado.
What does he make of some of the crazy rules proposals? He’s got a zinger.
Without further ado, some excerpts from Rex’s roundtable:
On remaining as a head coach in the AFC East:
“I look at it as unfinished business. I’m excited about this team. It’s my first time with the Buffalo Bills. We’ll take on all comers.”
On whether he feels rejuvenated on a different team:
“I’m back, there’s no question about it. I was slapped down with a little humble pie there (with the New York Jets). It was tough ... embarrassing.”
On whether the Bills had any advance knowledge the Eagles might want to trade running back LeSean McCoy:
“Anthony Lynn, our assistant head coach/running backs coach, he was like, ‘I’m hearing LeSean McCoy might be available.’ And I’m like, ‘Ahhh, there’s no way.’ I kind of dismissed it. Then we got a call a little later, and the rest is history.”
On whether he had any preferences regarding the various playing-rules proposals:
“The one I thought was funny was the one that you go back to the 50-yard line and you get an extra (conversion kick, if your team successfully makes a two-point conversion). I’m like, I don’t think that one’s flying any time soon.”
Does a team without an elite quarterback have to go ‘ground-and-pound,’ as the Bills are this year?:
“I think it makes sense, because if you don’t have Tom Brady then why would you try to have the exact same offence that he runs? He’s going to out-perform your guy. So you have to find different ways of doing things.
“The ground-and-pound, I think the big thing about that is that we always want to have the threat of running the football, and we certainly will have that. And what that means is dictating coverage. A lot of times you get eight guys down there, nine guys down there (in the box) to stop the run. That’s going to free you up on the outside, but we’ve got to make you pay on the outside when that happens.
“Now obviously having a (receiver like) Sammy Watkins out there, almost every team in the league rolled their coverage to Sammy last year. (Some say) he never had a great (season). Well, he almost had 1,000 yards receiving and he’s getting doubled almost every snap. And trust me, I know when he wasn’t, because he torched us when I thought we could play man coverage on him. That was a mistake.
“So I think that’s going to open up opportunities for Sammy. I think when you look at (WRs Robert) Woods and Percy (Harvin) out there as well, and (TE Charles) Clay, I think we’ll have some matchup problems (in) our favour, based on having the ability to run the football ...
“Seattle runs the ball pretty effectively, and they’ve been to back-to-back championship games, so that works pretty good in their favour. They play defence and they’re able to control the possessions. They probably play three fewer possessions a game on defence than every (other) team in the league. Is that a way of winning? Sure looks like it to me. You play to your personnel, you play to your strengths. You recognize your weaknesses, but play to your strengths. And that’s exactly what we’ll do.”
On new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, formerly with the San Francisco 49ers since 2011:
“I was with Greg in Baltimore for a couple of years. All Greg wants to do is win. He’s always been successful ...
“I think his resume speaks for itself. I mean, you go to three championship games in a row, including that Super Bowl.
“You wanna be good? Trust in yourself and lean on yourself. You wanna be great? Lean on yourself and others, and that’s what I’m doing. In my opinion we built an all-star staff here that’s going to work great together, and it starts with Greg Roman.”
On whether he sees an expanded role for Toronto native and backup defensive tackle Stefan Charles:
“That’s a possibility. There’s no doubt. If we want to match you with some size and put him on the nose, and put Marcel (Dareus) and Kyle (Williams) as the ends, and the outside backers (Jerry) Hughes and Mario (Williams) — that’s a possibility.”
On not getting a call from the Chicago Bears, a team for whom his dad was defensive coordinator in the 1980s, when they were looking for a new coach and he was free:
“I must have done a bad job as a ball boy there or something.”
On whether that surprised him:
“I actually did ... It made sense to me, but apparently it never made sense to them. So that’s the way it is.”