By any reasonable estimate, the Bills were not good on defense last year.
And while head coach Rex Ryan was answering sarcastically, the words he said were true on their face.
“We were terrible,” Ryan said, via Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News. “And I can’t coach defense anymore for some reason.”
They were 15th in the league in scoring defense and 19th in yards allowed, but they generated no pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which wasn’t a problem when Ryan walked in.
The Bills had the fewest sacks in franchise history last year, with just 21 for the season (after 54 the year before). And there was constant complaints from star defensive end Mario Williams, who didn’t think he was being used properly. But Ryan said the issue was more about “communication” between players and coaches when things improved late in the season, and pointed to injuries throughout the season.
“Well, our front guys played five games together last year,” he said. “I don’t know if you guys remember that or not. But they were together for five games. So, yeah, I’d like to see them rush more together. Absolutely.”
Of course, the changes are coming. Williams is a likely salary cap casualty, and even though he said earlier Wednesday he’d consider a pay cut, Ryan said he wasn’t sure that was a possibility.