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JAN 13 - JAN 20, 2015

Ryan Gets Welcome Fit for a King But Still Needs a QB

By Tony Farina

January 13, 2015

Former Jets and now new Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan.

New Bills' owner Terry Pegula is hoping that Rex Ryan, who went 46 -50 with the New York Jets over the last six years, will figure out how to bring a winning attitude to his ailing franchise that hasn't made the playoffs in15 years, the longest active streak in the National Football League.

Pegula confirmed Ryan's hiring on Monday, saying he has the experience and enthusiasm to help the team get to the playoffs for the first time in the 21st century.

"He was very impressive during the interview process, as were many of the candidates to which we spoke, and we feel Rex is the best fit for our team," said Pegula.

Well, the Pegula brain trust is the same as it was when he bought the team, so we'll have to withhold judgment on the Ryan selection until we see what happens.

Pegula reportedly agreed to pay Ryan $27.5 million over the next five years for his services, not a bad deal for a coach who couldn't develop a quarterback with the New York Jets, finishing his losing tenure at 4 and 12.

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York tweeted the following about the Ryan hire: "I have to say, I'm surprised by Rex Ryan to the Bills. Goes from 1 bad QB situation to another."

Right now, the Bills have no first round draft picks and are stuck with GM Doug Whaley's franchise quarterback-- the over-hyped and wildly inaccurate E J Manuel who Whaley apparently still believes will wake up as the second coming of Troy Aikman. Welcome to Buffalo, Rex, at least you got away from Geno Smith. But only time will tell if you and new offensive coordinator Greg Roman from the 49ers can get somehow find a quarterback and get this team to the playoffs. Roman didn't exactly work miracles with Colin Kaepernick as the 49ers passing game took a step backward this year, going 8 and 8 missing the postseason. But maybe it was Kaepernick regressing.

The local media is heaping praise on the coaching hire, kind of painting Ryan as a mix between Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry. But I think that's typical of the reaction around here when anyone shows up. But only time will tell if Ryan can really coach and put together a winning offense, something he couldn't do in New York.

But he will add charisma and a big mouth to the scene, and at least for the moment a sense that he will be able to do something with a franchise that badly needs something.

I kind of like Ryan's style but I'm not sure if he can be the savior everyone expects him to be. He still needs a quarterback, as he did in New York, and until he finds a way to fill that need, the Bills are not going to make a run at anything. The NFL is about quarterbacks, and the Colts have the top young gun in Andrew Luck.

Tom Brady may be 37 but he's still the best. Peyton Manning should retire because he just can't do it anymore. Joe Flacco is big time and of course so is Aaron Rodgers. After that, the talent dips significantly, and the Bills are at the bottom of any list except maybe for the team that Ryan just left.

Anyway, Ryan is here, and he will be more fun than Doug Marrone for the press corps. But can he win in this town under this brain trust? We will just have to wait and see and hope that another Tom Brady shows up deep in the draft and the guys at One Bills Drive plus Ryan can spot him. History suggests otherwise.





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