Rex All Just R-E-L-A-X
Last week’s loss to the Chiefs was not only extremely painful but also very damaging to the Bills playoff chances. What makes it even worse is the team lost a close game in which the head coach made many obvious mistakes. However, I do not agree with the angry mob within the #BillsMafia that believe they should fire Rex Ryan. It feels more like a witch hunt to blame the current regime for the many problems over the prior 15 years.
For me it’s a bit drastic to pursue such a step 11 games into Rex’s tenure as the Bills coach. Rex had nothing to do with the Bills not making the playoffs the past 15 years. Sure I am very disappointed in their 5-6 record and the way that the team has performed under Rex but only the most dysfunctional of organizations fire their head coaches so quickly.
To prove my point since 2000 the teams who have the most head coaches (interim included) are the Raiders, Bills,Dolphins, Browns and the Washington football team. The teams with the least head coaches are the Patriots,Packers,Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Steelers and Bengals. Out of the latter teams only the Eagles and Bengals haven’t won a Superbowl in that time frame. Now naturally good teams don’t go through head coaches as quickly but you can see that the list of teams with the most coaches could just as easily be a list of the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL since 2000.
I should point out that I am a Bills fan from Long Island and most of my friends unfortunately root for the Jets (I know I need new friends but that’s for another post). I also read the NY Post everyday so I am very familiar with Rex Ryan and all the controversy that has surrounded him. I thought I knew exactly what the Bills would be getting when they hired him and so far, unfortunately, my expectations have been met.
I knew Rex Ryan was an energetic and outspoken coach. I knew he was the type of coach that could rally a locker room and get a team to play above their talent level because they believed in themselves and in each other. I mean for Christ Sakes he got Mark Sanchez to back to back AFC Championship games and even beat the dreaded Patriots in the playoffs with Sanchez at QB. That in itself should be considered a minor miracle but that was a long time ago.
I also knew that Rex had his limitations. In my opinion he was never the best coach at managing timeouts or being ready for any wacky situation which would arise during a game. I also believe one of his biggest strengths, his passion for the game and belief in himself, is also one of his biggest weaknesses. He lets his emotions get the best of him and unfortunately people tend to be the most emotional during the biggest moments of the game.
I think one of the things that is often overlooked that a head coach must be good at is knowing when to show their emotions to rally their team and knowing when not to show their emotions to keep their team composed. Rex is awful at this. It’s kind of like having Jerry Hughes as your head coach. Tremendous talent and makes great plays but god damn you just want to smack him sometimes when he makes a stupid and unneeded penalty at a big point in the game.
The prime reason why I did not want the Bills to hire Rex as the head coach was due to my familiarity with Rex’s time with the Jets. I didn’t think Buffalo needed a coach who could convince the players they could win. They were just coming off a 9-7 season and for the first time in a while, based on comments from the players to the media, I got the sense they truly believed in themselves and that they could win. Buffalo also needed a boost on the offensive side of the ball not on the defensive side so I didn’t understand the point of hiring a defensive coach unless it was going to be Schwartz who was already in house. I thought Buffalo needed a smarter coach who could teach this young and talented team some technique and some of the nuances of the game which would ultimately lead to improved performance. I do not believe this is Rex Ryan’s strength and that is why I did not feel he was the best fit for Buffalo as a head coach.
But they hired Rex and so rather than be bitter about it I decided to embrace whatever came with it. I am already sick of his press conferences and can’t stand his excuses like “we played hard until the end” etc. A loss is a loss Rex. I don’t care how hard the team tried. Trying hard doesn’t get you into the playoffs but wins do. However, when you have a head coach in his 1st year with the team, a GM in his 3rd in his position and owners who have had the team for just over a year you need to give things time to play out. You can’t act like the sky is falling after every loss and you can’t act like you just won the Superbowl after every win.
Tom Coughlin was almost run out of NY during the 2007 season but the Giants eked their way into the playoffs by winning 3 of their last 4 to finish 9-7. They would go on to beat an 18-0 Patriots team to win the Superbowl. Had management listened to the emotions of the fans they probably would not have won that Superbowl and probably would not have won again in 2012.
If you were never a Rex supporter, then fine go ahead and hate Rex and continue to call for him to be fired. You are entitled to your opinion and at least it has been consistent since the offseason. Personally, I just don’t think you are giving him a long enough period of time to prove himself as the Buffalo Bills head coach but that’s fine and I can understand because you never wanted him. But if you were a Rex supporter or just agnostic to the hiring like me then I urge you to be patient and give this time to playout.
The Bills could be in the 6th spot for the playoffs at the end of this week with a win and wins by JAX, KC, NYG and IND so let’s not act like the world is about to end and it’s all Rex’s fault. The Bills as a team have certainly underperformed and I think it is more than fair to assign a good amount of that blame to Rex specifically but let’s try to do something that our head coach seems incapable of which is controlling our emotions and letting logic and reason prevail. In time Rex Ryan will prove whether he deserves to be the head coach of the Buffalo Bills or not but until enough time has passed to let that play out properly (3-4 seasons in my opinion) Rex just all R-E-L-A-X.