Few if any NFL coaches express regret for anything they do, no matter how obvious the basis for regret may be. To his credit, Bills coach Rex Ryan has expressed clear regret for his decision to guarantee a playoff appearance by the team during his first year on the job.
“[O]bviously I wish I wouldn’t say some stupid thing that I said,” Ryan told reporters on Wednesday, when asked what he has learned about himself as a coach this year. “But I get it. That’s just me, but sometimes I wish . . . you know, because I think you see the impact it has. My heart was in the right place, I thought I’m telling the truth. But at the same time, it’s like I never look at it as what if this doesn’t go exactly the way I expect it to go. Well, I’m seeing right now.
So what was the stupid thing said?
“[W]hen I’m like hey, ‘We’re gonna be in the playoffs,'” Ryan said. “I just honestly, 100-percent believed that. I absolutely did, without question. . . . I’m the guy that should be criticized, that’s fine. . . . They believe like I did and I love the fact they believed in me. There’s no question about that. I feel bad that I didn’t deliver, that’s how I look at it. There’s no question about it.”
We’ll see whether this causes Rex to change his approach. One of his strengths is authenticity, and when he tried to be something other than himself during two years of working with (for) G.M. John Idzik, it didn’t go well.