Sports Sports Now

Jim Kelly takes new Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan out for beers

During his tenure as the coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan was treated as a visitor in Buffalo many times.

On Tuesday, he was finally treated like a local when Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly took the Bills' next head coach out for drinks before his formal introduction by the team Wednesday.

Kelly's wife, Jill, posted a photo of the two at the Big Tree Inn, a local watering hole frequented by players, near Ralph Wilson Stadium on Instagram.

A photo posted by Jill Kelly (@jillmkelly) on

"Well this friendship is off to a good start!" she wrote. "A cold beer at The Big Tree never hurt anyone."

Ryan, 52, takes over a Bills team that went 9-7 last season -- their most wins since 2004 -- though they haven't made the playoffs since 1999.

Ryan lost his job in New York after the Jets finished 4-12. There, he had a regular-season record of 46-50 and went 4-2 in the postseason.

Ryan led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances in his first two seasons at the helm, but the team was plagued by problems at the quarterback position, which ultimately played a role in his downfall.

He'll face a similar situation at quarterback in Buffalo. The Bills started the 2014 season with second-year pro EJ Manuel as their starter, but quickly promoted backup Kyle Orton. The veteran was 7-5 as a starter, but retired following the end of the season.

If it goes well in Buffalo -- or even if it goes bad -- at least the defense-minded coach will know at least one good place to grab a drink.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

86°