Despite four consecutive non-winning seasons with the New York Jets, Rex Ryan’s NFL coaching days are far from over.
“Rex brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the position that we feel will be a tremendous benefit to our players and the entire Bills organization,” Bills owner Terry Pegula said in a statement. “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. We look forward to his leadership and expertise in directing our team to the playoffs and bringing a championship to Buffalo for our fans.”
Ryan will replace Doug Marrone, who announced his resignation in a surprising move last month. Marrone led the Bills to a 9-7 record in his second year with the team. Ryan was one of 12 candidates to interview for the job.
After posting two winning campaigns in his first seasons in New York, Ryan failed to steer the Jets back to the postseason. He went 50-52 in the regular season and 4-2 in the postseason over six seasons with the Jets, and struggled to meet the franchise’s expectations.
Ryan and the Jets went 4-12 this season, the team’s worst result since 2007.
Still, the situation in Buffalo is not ideal. Though the Bills’ defense has shown promise, the team does not have a reliable starting quarterback.
Starter Kyle Orton announced his retirement at the end of the season, and E.J. Manuel has not lived up to expectations. Ryan’s track record with young quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith in New York suggests that it will be a challenge for him to turn the struggling Manuel into a bona fide starter.