Before the 2015 season ended, there was a since-refuted report that Bills owner Terry Pegula told coach Rex Ryan and General Manager Doug Whaley that making the playoffs was the lowest expectation for the team in 2016 and former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly shared a similar opinion about the stakes for this year in June.
Ryan shrugged that off as one man’s opinion, but Kelly isn’t the only one who feels that way. Guard Richie Incognito said that Sunday’s game against the Ravens is the first contest in a season that needs to end with a postseason berth.
“That’s the unspoken rule around here, that it’s playoffs or bust for us,” Incognito said, via NewYorkUpstate.com. “We have to get there and this is the first step in the journey.”
Linebacker Preston Brown said it’s a “fast league” that sees players and coaches go left and right, so the Bill have “to come together and make this right so we can be here long-term.”
Ryan hasn’t been swayed, saying that he doesn’t believe he will definitely lose his job if the Bills miss the playoffs for a 17th straight season. Having players motivated to keep that theory from being tested is probably a good thing for his future in Buffalo.