Remember when Rex Ryan led the New York Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010? You know, when he was considered one of the best coaches in football?
Well, he has since gone 34-48, including 8-10 with the Bills, and could be on the hot seat in Buffalo.
What happened to him?
“I do think in some ways Rex is the victim of his own bluster – because he raises the expectations,” NFL.com’s Judy Battista said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “He was so excited when he went to Buffalo and he got the fan base so excited because he was so excited to be in Buffalo. Let’s face it: Fans are used to people not being excited about the Buffalo Bills, and he was so excited. He wanted to live in the part of town that got the most snow, he embraced Jim Kelly – all of the things that really played to the fans. He got the fans’ hopes up so, so high that they were going to go to the playoffs, and then when it falls flat, it’s even more of a letdown because their hopes were raised so much. They’re like, ‘Wait a minute. You’re not delivering any more than Dick Jauron.’ So i think int hat sense he’s a victim of his own words, and I think that’s why you’re seeing him say less this year – or at least trying to say less.”
Forget the AFC Championship. Ryan hasn’t led a team to the playoffs in five-going-on-six seasons.
“That seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?” Battista said, referring to those deep playoff runs in New York. “The good years with the Jets, the two consecutive runs to the AFC Championship Game, were the best possible situations he had. He had very good defensive talent, he had a very, very good offensive line, and a very good running game. That played into the way Rex wants to play anyway. That’s what he wants to do. They were able to do it. They had the personnel, and they were able to execute it. And then you had Mark Sanchez, who was a young quarterback, and he made mistakes that we all know Mark Sanchez makes, but he also had some flashes there where, occasionally, he’d give you a game where he outplayed Tom Brady. Was (Ryan) the beneficiary (of a good situation)? Yeah, but he also had that defense going and he knew enough to play with the personnel that he had.”
Ryan arrived in Buffalo in 2015. He inherited a team that went 9-7 and was charged with leading the franchise to its first playoff appearance this century.
The Bills went 8-8 last year and are 0-2 this year.
“So many things went wrong even before the season started with suspensions and injuries,” Battista said. “It’s just a mess. And then firing his offensive coordinator a day after the defense clearly blew the game. It’s not pretty. And certainly when you hear the reports that the owners are meeting with players without Rex being there – boy, that’s a red flag.”