Rex Ryan celebrated ugly sweater day at One Bills Drive on Wednesday… very effectively.
He also brought a photo to remind media that Communications VP Scott Berchtold would celebrate his 60th birthday Thursday.
What followed was a discussion about how Rex’s talented mind and the Bills’ talented players could produce a defense that’s been so disappointing.
“Literally I can count on, well this would be my first finger, that I’ve ever been considered maybe the weakness of a team. You know the way I coach defense,” Ryan said. “But clearly that’s been…You know we haven’t been up to what we anticipated. Any of us.”
The Bills were great on defense with two different coordinators in 2013 and 2014. There was no reason to expect a celebrated and accomplished defensive mind like Ryan’s would hurt.
“We focused too much on last year. It should have been thinking about this year,” Jerry Hughes said. “Getting used to this playbook and focusing on that.”
“When you look at teams that have doing the same things year after year, they’re better because they have guys in the system doing the same thing,” Corbin Bryant said. “They don’t have to learn anything new.”
Learning new things does take time. Apparently, too much time to be effective this season.
“It doesn’t happen in a year,” Marcell Dareus said. “I think we all missed that and looked at the pieces we put in and forgot the big picture of letting it all set, sealed and don’t touch it for a little bit. Let the cement harden.”
“We have been here for a while. I know how Marcell plays, he knows how I play,” Manny Lawson said. “Within a certain defense, it changes my understanding of how he plays and what to expect from him. I agree with Marcell: it does take time. It can take 16 games and even longer.”
“New players is one thing. New coaches is a completely different thing,” Dareus said. “They have to get their system in. The players have to completely buy into it and we have to believe in it without a doubt and know that, when we go out there with it, it’s the best thing our coaches feel like we can go in with.”
“We’ve got good players,” Ryan added. “There’s no question. I think I’m an above average coach, maybe, but for whatever reason the combination – we haven’t had the results that we were looking for. But I’m not the guy that’s going to point fingers at somebody else. I point it at myself and I know I’ll try to get better.”