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Rex Ryan to Buffalo Bills: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2015

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Rex Ryan rebounded quickly from the end of his tenure with the New York Jets, agreeing to become the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

Continue for updates.


Ryan a Winner in Head Coaching Carousel

Wednesday, Jan. 21

Bleacher Report NFL Analyst Chris Simms shared his thoughts on the winners and losers from the recent head coaching carousel around the NFL, with one of the biggest winners being Ryan:


Ryan Comments For First Time As Bills Head Coach

Wednesday, Jan. 14

Rex Ryan addressed the media for the first time after agreeing to become the head coach in Buffalo, and he spoke about his goals for the franchise, via the Bills:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Rex Ryan: "I'm not going to let our fans down. It's been 15 years since we made the playoffs ... We're going."

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Rex Ryan: "Each week, we will have in our arsenal the ability to do everything. We'll find out what you're not prepared for and attack."

Ryan also commented on EJ Manuel and the status of the quarterback position as he evaluates the roster, via the Bills:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Rex Ryan on EJ Manuel: Has all the desirable skills, would like to see him use his legs more. "He'll certainly be given an opportunity"

The former Jets head man also spoke on being fired by the franchise and what he learned during his time in New York, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Rich Cimini of ESPN and Matthew Fairburn of Syracuse.com:

Manish Mehta @MMehtaNYDN

Rex: "It's the first time I've ever been fired... Yeah, it's personal. It's embarrassing." #nyj

Rich Cimini @RichCimini

Rex on whether he wants shot at Jets: "No, it's still the Patriots I want the most." #nyj

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Matthew Fairburn @MatthewFairburn

Rex Ryan: "I may have lost some victories along the way, but I never lost my swagger or my confidence."


Ryan Agrees to Become Head Coach of Bills

Sunday, Jan. 11

Rex Ryan didn't stay unemployed for long. After being fired by the New York Jets following a disappointing 4-12 season in 2014, the outspoken coach has landed a new gig with the Buffalo Bills.

Team owner Terry Pegula confirmed the news Monday morning:

Following an extensive search, we are pleased today to announce that Rex Ryan is our new head coach. 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. 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.

The Bills also confirmed that Ryan will report directly to Pegula:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Rex Ryan, Russ Brandon, and Doug Whaley all report directly to Terry and Kim Pegula.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported Sunday morning that Ryan, 52, would become the Buffalo Bills' new head coach:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Just a couple more I's to dot and T's to cross, but Rex Ryan now expected to be the next Buffalo Bills HC. First domino falls!

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

The offensive coordinator Rex Ryan is most likely to bring with him to Buffalo is 49ers OC Greg Roman, per source.

John Wawrow of The Associated Press later reported that Ryan as officially agreed to coach the Bills.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News quickly followed with contractual details, as well as insight into why Ryan did not sign with the Atlanta Falcons in a series of tweets:

Ryan's five-year deal with the Bills will be for $27.5 million.

Source on why Rex Ryan chose the Bills: 'They made him feel wanted.'

Ryan wants to bring the majority of his defensive staff with him to Buffalo, including defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.

Ryan also wants to bring QBs coach David Lee back to Buffalo.

Ryan ultimately didn't feel like Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff was in his corner despite a productive first interview.

Ryan wanted the Falcons job for family reasons too. Son goes to school two hours away. Has a house in Tennessee four hours away.

He has been one of the most sought-after coaches this offseason. Other suitors included the Falcons and 49ers, and Ryan also met with CBS regarding a possible TV role.

Chris Simms of Bleacher Report weighed in on Ryan's move to Buffalo: 

Star player Sammy Watkins commented on the news via his Instagram feed:

Buffalo was added to the mix after previous head coach Doug Marrone opted out of his contract on Dec. 31. Ryan reportedly had two interviews with the team, according to NFL.com.

On Saturday, WIVB's Lauren Brill shared former Bills star Andre Reed's thoughts on Ryan becoming Buffalo's head coach:

Lauren Brill @LaurenBrill5

Hall of famer @Andre_Reed83 told me he thinks the Bills need a more offensive-minded coach than Rex Ryan

Bart Scott, one of Ryan's former players with the Jets and Ravens, told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com that his former coach gets a bad reputation for being just a defensive-minded guy:

People always say he doesn't pay attention to offense, but he just allows his guys to do their jobs. You think John Fox is going over there and saying, 'Hey Peyton [Manning], run this'? He's a defensive guy. But I guarantee he's going into the defensive room saying, 'Hey, you've got to play this technique.'

Rex Ryan, son of former head coach and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, is a defense-first leader, and he managed to coach in consecutive AFC Championship Games with Mark Sanchez under center.

With Kyle Orton retired in Buffalo, the quarterback position is wide open moving forward. Defense should not be an issue, with the 9-7 Bills ranking third against the pass and 11th versus the run in 2014.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 21:  Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets looks on prior to a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on December 21, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York shared his thoughts on Ryan's decision to head to Buffalo, given the quarterback situation:

Rich Cimini @RichCimini

I have to say, I'm surprised by Rex Ryan to the Bills. Goes from 1 bad QB situation to another. #nyj

Whether the team starts 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel, eyes a quarterback in the draft or looks to sign a veteran free agent this offseason, the position will be a hot topic, much like it was with the Jets with Geno Smith and Mike Vick.

Ryan, who went 46-50 in six seasons with the Jets (4-2 in the postseason), has shown the ability to succeed with a strong running game and defense. He'll get another shot in Buffalo.

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