105.5 The Team – For the first time since he was fired 34 days ago, former Bills head coach Rex Ryan has broken his silence.
In an interview with Manish Metha of the New York Daily News, Ryan opened up about two-year stint in Buffalo, which abruptly came to an end back in December. The story comes on the heels of Ryan accepting a job with ESPN to be part of the network’s game day coverage of Super Bowl Sunday.
“I set the expectations too high,” Ryan to Metha. “Like, boy, that’s a shock. In a way, I felt, why not us? I stepped in where the head coach had quit, the defensive coordinator quit and the quarterback quit on them. So, I thought that it was important at the time to say, ‘You know what? Shoot, I believe in you. And I’m proud to be the coach here.’ Every bit of that was true. I put that truck (with the Bills logo) around town. I was all-in. Even though those other three had quit, I wasn’t a quitter. I was ready. And I wanted to be there. And I wanted to win. And I thought I could win.”
Expectedly, those bubbly feelings are long gone.
“Let me tell you, I stripped that damn truck the day I got fired,” Ryan added with a laugh. “F–k you guys.”
Despite directing that vulgar message at the Bills organization, Ryan maintains that he’s not bitter about being dismissed in just the second year of the five-year $27.5 million deal, citing the $15 million he’s still owed as a major reason why. Still, he made it known how “hurt” he felt, adding that he doesn’t wish the franchise luck moving forward.
“I don’t wish them bad will,” he stated. “I don’t. But I don’t wish them luck, either. I’ll be honest: I don’t wish them good luck. I don’t wish them bad luck. I just don’t wish them luck. I wish the Jets luck.”
Ryan spent six years coaching the New York Jets before coming to Buffalo ahead of the 2015 campaign. His exit from the Big Apple came in the aftermath of 4-12 season in 2014. Over the course of his head coaching tenure, Ryan has accumulated a 61-68 record, including going 15-16 pre-firing with the Bills. He’s recorded four playoff wins over his career as well, but hasn’t earned a winning season in six years.
“I wasn’t real lucky coming in there with the situation I did,” he said. “Hey, that’s the way it goes. No excuses. We went in there and did the best we could. I wish things would have been different. I wish Sammy Watkins wouldn’t have had a broken foot and been healthy the whole year. I wish our draft picks would have played. There’s a lot of things that I wished for, but at the end of the day, I’m responsible for the product on the field.”
Still, Ryan admits that he was never given an actual reason for being fired from owners Kim and Terry Pegula.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” he told Metha. “When the owners make that decision that it’s time to get rid of you, then they get rid of you. I’ve been around this business long enough to know that’s how it works. That’s the reality of the business. I’ve been real fortunate. I got two opportunities when a lot of great coaches don’t get any. How many were realistic opportunities? I’m not sure, but at least I had a chance to step up to the plate. So, that’s something I’ll always be grateful for.”
Now, as Ryan prepares to make his TV debut this weekend, deep down he hopes another head coaching gig comes along one day, but has no intentions of returning to a lesser role as a defensive coordinator.
“Maybe this a different career and I really enjoy it,” he explained. “I’m hoping that’s the way it is. Maybe I get into and I don’t like it. Maybe they don’t like me. Maybe I go back to doing something I love, which is coaching. I’ll never say never.
“The one thing about (being on TV) is that you don’t lose. You’ll remember every damn loss. But the wins? You don’t necessarily remember. So, it takes a lot out of you. I’m tired of getting f–ked. Unless it’s a real situation, there’s no sense of getting into it again.”
Follow me on Twitter: @Spencito6