Is Rex Ryan beginning to see the light?
We doubt it, but the Bills coach acknowledged this week that he put his team in a tough spot by squawking about the playoffs before the season even began.
“I think we got a great thing going here. We just didn’t produce the wins I thought we would,” Ryan told WGR-AM radio in Buffalo, per ESPN.com. “The thing that kind of gives this team a black eye when we’re looking at it is that I let my mouth get ahead of everything. And I think if I would have come in there and just said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna compete,’ and do all that stuff, maybe we wouldn’t have such a bad feeling about this team.
“This team doesn’t deserve that. This team has fought, and they’ve played extremely hard. We’ve had a lot of things happen this year where we’ve felt, where we’ve came up short. There’s no question about it. But I think I could have handled it differently.”
It’s an overdue but welcome mea culpa from a coach who has shown no ability to keep his mouth shut in Buffalo. While Ryan is widely viewed as a creative defensive architect, his scheme has been the subject of in-fighting and endless controversy in Buffalo while his over-the-top promises and public proclamations flow like water.
It was especially tedious to hear Ryan tell reporters before a Week 2 tilt with the Patriots that he had never heard of electric scatback Dion Lewis. That brand of ridiculous bravado needs to be backed up, but Rex predictably stood stupefied as Lewis scorched his defense for 138 total yards from scrimmage in a game that saw the Bills give up 40 points.
Now Buffalo’s roster — eliminated from playoff contention — is left calling Sunday’s showdown with the Jets their “Super Bowl.” More accurately, it’s a case study in how much more effective Gang Green has become with a talented general manager paired with a coach in Todd Bowles who speaks through actions instead of weekly bloviation sessions promising something he can’t deliver.