Rex Ryan on Bills: 'Teams aren't going to want to play us'

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Thursday, June 4, 2015

NEW YORK -- The Buffalo Bills haven't reached the playoffs since 1999, the longest drought in the NFL.

That is sure to end this season, according to Rex Ryan.

"I think we'll be in [the playoffs] this year," the Bills' first-year coach said Wednesday night before playing in a charity softball event at Yankee Stadium. "So we'll see."

The playoffs? The Bills?

"I think we will," Ryan said matter-of-factly. "Yep, I think we will."

The formerJetscoach, back in New York City for only the second time since being hired by the Bills, displayed his old bravado while speaking to a group of reporters on an outdoor terrace at the stadium.

Ryan was a fan favorite during his six seasons with the Jets, once guaranteeing a Super Bowl appearance -- in February, no less. He was fired after missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

This time, he didn't want to go as far as guaranteeing a postseason berth.

"I can guarantee you one thing: Teams aren't going to want to play us, I can tell you that much," he said. "You'll see.

"Hey, come watch practice, and you'll probably come away with the same feeling I have. We're loaded on defense and we're loaded at the skill positions. So we'll see."

Ryan inherited a 9-7 team that boasted the fourth-ranked defense. He added playmakers such as running back LeSean McCoy, tight end Charles Clay and receiver Percy Harvin.

He acknowledged that the quarterback situation is "not an ideal situation or there already would be one guy there. But we have enough talent there so that, when it's all said and done, we'll be fine."

Clearly, Ryan is looking forward to facing the Jets on Nov. 12 at MetLife Stadium. He said he has severed his emotional ties to the team, but he's still irked by recent comments by tight end Jace Amaro.

In an April radio interview, Amaro said the Jets lacked accountability last season. Ryan has fired back in two interviews, and he bristled when it came up Wednesday.

"I could care less about him," he said. "That doesn't mean anything to me. That thing is in the past. Everything will be decided on the field, and we'll see who has the better team.

"I know what has been written about me," he continued. "Will I have a chip on my shoulder? Absolutely, and it will be fun. I know one thing: We ain't hiding, we ain't hiding from anybody -- New England, the Jets, anybody else. We'll take on all challenges, and I'm looking forward to it."

Ryan coached a practice in the morning and drove six hours to participate in the "True Blue" benefit game, hosted by former quarterback Boomer Esiason and his WFAN radio partner, Craig Carton. They honored the memories of three recently slain New York City police officers; the event drew 20,000 people.

Jets coach Todd Bowles and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin also participated.

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