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Rex Ryan says Bills defense was “terrible,” no one argues with him

Rex Ryan AP

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.

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31 Responses to “Rex Ryan says Bills defense was “terrible,” no one argues with him”
  1. greg3117 says: Feb 24, 2016 3:20 PM

    I gotta give him credit, he manned up and owned that mistake.

  2. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Feb 24, 2016 3:26 PM

    Addition by subtraction, cutting a quitter like Williams is a good start.

  3. Patskrieg says: Feb 24, 2016 3:26 PM

    They’ve got talent on top of talent on that defense. If they weren’t so preoccupied being fake mad at everything and everyone maybe they’d be better communicators.

  4. fordmandalay says: Feb 24, 2016 3:30 PM

    It’s all downhill from here, Bills fans. Watch as the team gets worse every year under Ryan, while he continues to fool owners and the media about what a genius he is.

  5. fngs1 says: Feb 24, 2016 3:30 PM

    I guess he shouldn’t of messed with D since it was like a top 4 from the year before.

  6. 67lion says: Feb 24, 2016 3:34 PM

    Ryan is the ultimate egotist. He insisted…and still insists… on playing his scheme and forcing the players to adapt to it as opposed to adjusting his scheme to the players’ strengths. His scheme requires so much communication, last second adjustments and personnel match ups, it’s easy for the offense to run a hurt up scheme or to substitute at the last second and create mismatches. The Bills defense excelled when they played the wide nine, rushed the passer and dictated to offenses….much like Denver did this year. Talent should always trump scheme as Marv Levy used to day!

  7. huggybear2014 says: Feb 24, 2016 3:41 PM

    I thought rexy would put that defense in to elite status. Instead he turned it average and now a dominant key cog is leaving. More will follow, and rexy somehow will still have a job.

  8. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Feb 24, 2016 3:51 PM

    But Ryan said the issue was more about “communication” between players and coaches when things improved late in the season..”

    So after they got fresh headset batteries?

  9. joetoronto says: Feb 24, 2016 3:56 PM

    All I read were several excuses.

  10. forthegoodofthegame says: Feb 24, 2016 3:59 PM

    the Rex Ryan “turn aound”. Take a leading defense and make it mediocre by spending too much time on the podium and not enough time figuring out how to beat other teams.

  11. YouCryin?PatsMustBeDoingTheirJob says: Feb 24, 2016 4:03 PM

    Gotta love Rexy……..when he coaches a rival.

  12. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Feb 24, 2016 4:11 PM

    Good thing they hired Rob to fix things. Just look at where the Saints defenses have been the past few years.

  13. bobthebillsfan says: Feb 24, 2016 4:12 PM

    For me the jury is still out – call it benefit of the doubt. but if things do not improve this year I think a change is in order.

  14. riflemanlax says: Feb 24, 2016 4:12 PM

    “Wow, we were bad. You know what’d make things better? My brother Rob.”

  15. gjv001 says: Feb 24, 2016 4:16 PM

    At least one player on the Bills defense has to set up and become a leader. This past season, unlike the 2014 team, this defense was undisciplined and without a winning character.

  16. pixelito says: Feb 24, 2016 4:18 PM

    You fans will miss Rex when he’s out of the league for good in 2017.

  17. manderson4150 says: Feb 24, 2016 4:20 PM

    His insecurity showed when he got rid of Schwartz
    …but bro Rob is there now so things are bound to improve just ask him

  18. excusemewhileiwhipthisoutagain says: Feb 24, 2016 4:27 PM

    The only reason to miss Rex is for the comic relief he brings to the sport.

  19. captainwhodat says: Feb 24, 2016 4:29 PM

    and it will be so much better with Rob and Rex working together…

  20. fmckenney says: Feb 24, 2016 4:30 PM

    Most overrated coach in the league…if braggadacio translated into wins he would have more superbowls than Bellichick. The press like him because he’s great theater, the players like him ’cause he’s one of the guys. The game has passed both he and his brother….Idzik should have let him go as soon as he was named GM. Look what Bowles has been able to do quietly with the Jets. Buffalo needs to move on before he does more damage.i

  21. chriskap11 says: Feb 24, 2016 4:52 PM

    The only good thing about the two Ryans coaching together is simple!

    Either they produce at a high level or they are fired after this year

  22. jeffberk2014 says: Feb 24, 2016 4:59 PM

    Injuries are no excuse. Absolutely!

  23. somethinghappeninghere says: Feb 24, 2016 5:51 PM

    Did Pegula hire this dude because they thought he was going to be a good head coach or because they wanted to entertain Bills fans? Hopefully, the Bills get to be on Hard Knocks this year…now for my g-d snack…

  24. arcross12042004scorp15 says: Feb 24, 2016 6:21 PM

    Rex was hired to be the face of the franchise.
    Do the pressers, handle the media etc. No one thought he would screw up an oustanding Defense. If anyone told you before the season :that the Bills who had a top 4 defense and the top special teams would lead the league in rushing yards, have a qb with a 10 / 3
    Td/ int ratio and have a passer rating of 99.4
    you would have to think they would make the playoffs. Rex was responsible for the defensive calapse and was responsible for another missed opportunity.

  25. kevo95 says: Feb 24, 2016 6:24 PM

    Wait your brother will make it better Hahahah

  26. idoubtiwillbother says: Feb 24, 2016 6:39 PM

    If you are relying on the absence of injured players to excuse the unit’s performance, your scheme and your playcalling are weak. No two ways about it.

  27. iammrbinky says: Feb 24, 2016 6:46 PM

    Jets had issues getting to the QB during Rex’s tenure. This is no surprise. Rex made his name off more talented defenses in Baltimore and New York.

  28. idoubtiwillbother says: Feb 24, 2016 6:50 PM

    Especially when you are talking about defensive tackles who spend 20% of the game in pass coverage.

  29. j0esixpack says: Feb 24, 2016 7:36 PM

    Good coaches adapt to the skill at their disposal on D

    Bad coaches somehow expect guys with limited skill to play better than they can

    This is what sets a guy like Belichick, who can win even with WRs at CB, and Ryan, who often needs top players like Revis to show how good a Defensive coach he is

    (Note: Patriots haters will now say that Belichick’s success is due to Brady. And when there’s comment about Brady’s greatness you can expect these same rocket scientists to say Brady’s success is due to Belichick.)

  30. joetoronto says: Feb 25, 2016 9:48 AM

    somethinghappeninghere says:
    Feb 24, 2016 5:51 PM
    Did Pegula hire this dude because they thought he was going to be a good head coach or because they wanted to entertain Bills fans? Hopefully, the Bills get to be on Hard Knocks this year…now for my g-d snack…
    This is the question Bills fans have to be asking themselves, it’s clear from the outside looking in that that’s exactly what happened, it’s all about selling tickets and not winning.

  31. bufbillsball says: Feb 26, 2016 10:31 AM

    When you have 10 guys playing on defense, and one prima donna who quit, this is where the defense ends up. Good riddance Mario!

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