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.
"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
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