The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be considering a move that could shore up their underperforming defense, and it could be a Ryan family reunion that does it.
Bills coach Rex Ryan’s brother Rob was just fired by the New Orleans Saints, leading to immediately speculate that he could move over to Buffalo. It’s not entirely clear what role Rob Ryan could play — the Bills already have Rex’s former Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurmond in that same role right now — but it wounds like the team could likely find a place for Rob Ryan.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 17, 2015
Rex Ryan was asked Tuesday about the possibility of hiring his brother, and seemed intrigued by the idea.
“A lot of things have to [happen],” Rex Ryan told ESPN. “I mean, I’ll never say never, that’s for sure. We’ve kind of purposefully set a path going to different teams. He’s his own man, I’m my own man, and we’ve purposefully set that path.
“With that being said, I ain’t gonna lie to you — I think it would be pretty fun. If it could help, obviously you consider it, but he would have to consider it as well. We got great coaches already here, and so… but we’ll see.”
Asked initially about the possibility of Rob Ryan joining the Bills’ staff, Rex Ryan said, “I don’t think about that. I know he’s going on, and he’s gonna take some time and all that, and get away from that a little bit, which is good. But nah, I haven’t thought about that.”
Rob Ryan was fired after the Saints gave up 47 points to the Washington Redskins. Ryan’s players stuck up for him afterward, with Rafael Bush posting a message on Instagram saying the blame was on the players.
“Talk about a person that always had his players back it was this guy hate to see him go personally enjoyed it just know it wasn’t his fault we let him down we didn’t have his back we didn’t do enough to prevent this,” Bush wrote. ‘This ones on us.”
Rex and Rob Ryan have coached together before, working under their father, Buddy Ryan, with the Arizona Cardinals.
If there is a reunion in Buffalo, it may not be for some time. Rex said that his brother will now spend some time away from football after being fired.
But Rob Ryan could make an impact that seems to be underperforming. After ranking near the top of the league in sacks and interceptions the last two years, the team has dropped off this year. The players are also starting to show signs of frustration with their roles, especially the team’s defensive linemen. After a 34-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, defensive end Mario Williams expressed frustration with being asked to drop back into coverage rather than rushing the quarterback.
“I think I probably set a record on dropping today, but that’s part of the scheme for us to go out and be put in a position to win,” Williams said. “Whatever’s called you have to go out and do it.”
The Bills have had trouble getting to the quarterback this year, with many striking them with quick passes to neutralize the rush. Going forward, the team’s success will likely be dictated by their ability to generate a better pass rush with their four down lineman, allowing the dynamic cornerback tandem of Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby to stay back in coverage.
Would Rob Ryan help with that? It’s not entirely clear, but if the rumors are true the Buffalo Bills may find out.
[Picture by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]