Rex Ryan didn’t work out as the head coach of the Bills for several reasons, but the fact that the defense floundered in his two years in Buffalo was among the biggest ones.
The Bills had a strong defense in 2014 under then-coordinator Jim Schwartz, but Ryan’s units never approached the same success and there was no shortage of griping about the complexity of the system from the players during his tenure. There’s been a better response to the scheme installed by new head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who attributes that reaction to stripping things down to the bare essentials.
“We don’t want to complicate things for our players at all in what we’re trying to get accomplished,” Frazier said on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Alex Marvez and Bill Polian. “We really want our players to be able to play fast and they have adopted very well to the 4-3, and also some of the terminology that we’ve introduced them to. The guys, they’re really excited about the system and some of the things that we’re trying to get accomplished. All the players, they all want to play fast. They want to be able to, ‘Just put me in a position, Coach, and let me go.’ And that’s what we want to be able to do with our players, because we think we have some very talented defenders.”
Frazier expects the team to have a “pretty stout front,” which is a less bold prediction than some of the ones Ryan made in Buffalo thanks to players like Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes moving back to similar roles to the ones they played in 2014. If he’s right, the team’s record may improve along with their defensive standing.