|Rex Ryan confident Bills can make playoffs this season||06.04.15 at 8:42 am ET|
At a charity softball game honoring slain police officers Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, new Bills coach Rex Ryan predicted the end of the longest active playoff drought in the NFL.
Buffalo has not made the postseason since 1999, and with Ryan at the helm, that could change — at least he thinks so.
“I think we’ll be in it this year,” Ryan told NJ.com. “So we’ll see.”
When prompted further, he reiterated.
“I think we will,” Ryan said. “Yep, I think we will.”
Ryan was slow to put a seal on that comment in particular, but had other things to say of the Bills’ upcoming season.
“Nah, I’m not going to say it’s a guarantee,” Ryan said. “But I guarantee you one thing: Teams aren’t going to want to play us. I can tell you that much.”
With the Bills’ current quarterback situation involving many options and a lack of a clear starter, Ryan said the position the team is in isn’t “ideal,” but he’s still optimistic.
“Hey, come watch practice, and you’ll probably come away with the same feeling I have,” Ryan said. “We’re loaded on defense. We’re loaded at the skill positions. So we’ll see.
“Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation, or there would already be one guy there [as the starter],” he added. “But we have enough talent there that I’m confident that when it’s all said and done, we’ll be fine.”
|Rex Ryan on facing Patriots without Tom Brady: ‘I just want to beat them no matter who’s back there’||05.13.15 at 1:03 pm ET|
Rex Ryan isn’t going to pile on the Patriots.
The Bills coach was asked Wednesday for his take on Deflategate and Tom Brady‘s looming four-game suspension, but he wasn’t about to add fuel to the fire.
“They know all the facts,” Ryan told reporters in regards to the NFL and the investigation.
New England is scheduled to face Buffalo in the second game of the regular season in upstate New York. If the suspension holds, Brady would be sidelined for the game. Ryan was asked if he’d rather play Brady, but he wouldn’t add to the drama.
“I just want to beat them — no matter who’s back there,” Ryan said of the Patriots.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Tom Brady, Rex Ryan have some fun at QBs expense after opening day pitch in dirt||04.15.15 at 2:05 pm ET|
Of course, because it was Rex Ryan, the Bills coach felt the need to remind folks Wednesday that his first pitch at the Buffalo Bisons opener made it to the plate without an issue while Brady’s was a one-hopper, adding that, “Tom likes taking advice from me, I know.”
Ryan said his pitch (at the Buffalo Bisons opener) reached home plate. Notes that Tom Brady’s one-hopped.
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) April 15, 2015
|Darrelle Revis: Patriots’ offer ‘wasn’t in the ballpark of what we were looking for’||03.25.15 at 7:09 pm ET|
Even though the Patriots didn’t pick up Darrelle Revis’ $20 million team option for 2015, the team still had a chance to sign him — just like every other team in the league — via free agency.
Ultimately the Patriots did make an offer to Revis, but it fell short of what he was looking for.
“Obviously I’m not going to speak to numbers,” Revis said on The Michael Kay Show in New York Wednesday. “But I had the option — the $20 million option — that they could’ve exercised and they didn’t. We tried to work on a deal, and the deal, we felt that it wasn’t in the ballpark of what we were looking for. We moved on and they moved on too. Had a great conversation with Bill [Belichick], and we moved forward just like they did. That’s how you look at it.”
Revis ultimately signed with the Jets for five years and $70 million, with $39 million guaranteed. Some may say Revis only chose the Jets because of the money he was offered. He said it takes both sides to agree upon a deal.
“Contracts are contracts. We all know that, man,” said Revis. “Both sides have to agree on the deal and the numbers are the numbers. If a team doesn’t want to pay you money, they won’t pay you, they will give you a lesser deal. If they want to pay you, they will pay you. Everybody knows that. It’s not just one side. Contracts don’t get done one-sided. They get done with both sides agreeing to the terms.”
Playing for the Jets for the first six years of his career and then being traded to Tampa Bay in 2013, Revis said he was actually surprised the Jets would be interested in bringing him back for a second time. It was a place he wanted to return to, a place he calls “home.”
“I think at that point I was surprised,” Revis said. “It was a lot of back-and-forth with the tampering, what Mr. [Woody] Johnson said. There was just a lot of stuff going on at that time. In free agency they were one of the teams that called. The Jets were one of the teams that called. It was a bunch of teams. It was the Steelers, it was Cleveland, it was the Chiefs, it was the Packers, Baltimore — I mean, it was every team as well. Guys were willing to fly down and meet with me.
“The whole situation was like I said, it will always go back to that is where I got drafted. That is where I felt most comfortable. That is where I feel familiar with. I know a lot of people in the building and I felt like for me it was time to come home.”
|Rex Ryan on Patriots: ‘They’re clearly the team to beat and we’re coming after them’||03.24.15 at 11:34 am ET|
The Bills-Patriots division rivalry is sure to be taken to a new level with Rex Ryan taking over as head coach.
Like with the Jets, Ryan knows the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East and he and the Bills are not backing down.
“They’re clearly the team to beat and we’re coming after them,” Ryan told reporters at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday at the NFL owners’ meetings in Arizona.
Buffalo had one of its best seasons in years last year going 9-7, which was their first winning season since 2004. They also beat the Patriots in the regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium, possibly giving the organization some momentum going into 2015.
With the offseason moves the Bills made, along with the other teams in the division in the Jets and Dolphins, Ryan feels the AFC East is “the best in football.”
In his six seasons as coach of the Jets he went 46-50, leading the team to two AFC championship games.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Wednesday roundup: Duron Harmon recalls near-Super Bowl heartbreak; Pats work out Georgia center; Bills add Matt Cassel||03.04.15 at 1:03 pm ET|
A few random Patriots news items for your Wednesday afternoon:
1. Our pal Dan Duggan caught up with safety Duron Harmon, and got his take on the Super Bowl. Harmon, who was part of the coverage in Russell Wilson‘s deep ball for Jermaine Kearse that got the Seahawks into position for what would have likely been a game-winning score, if not for Malcolm Butler’s interception.
“Oh my God, I was just upset to the point where watching it, I felt like I could have done something about the play,” said Harmon, a Rutgers safety from 2009-12. “At that point, I felt like I let my team down.
“To be honest, I thought the ball was down like everybody else,” Harmon added. “I thought the ball bounced off the ground. I was like, I can stop but I’m going to fall on him because I was moving too fast. So I just jumped over him and I took a peek around and he’s up about to run and I saw Malcolm. I was like, there’s no way they’re going to count that as a catch. But it was a catch. I have to give credit to Kearse for that catch. That was a great catch. But it broke my heart.”
2. Per the indefatigable Aaron Wilson, the Patriots are set to work out Georgia center David Andrews on Wednesday. Andrews was a three-year starter and team MVP for the Bulldogs in 2014, and while at the East-West Shrine game in January, practiced at center and guard. He’s considered a mid-round candidate, and stands at 6-foot-3 and 294 pounds. One reminder — now that the private workouts and visits have begun, it’s important to note that just because the Patriots are having a private workout or visit with player at a certain position, it shouldn’t be taken as an indictment of starter at said position. There’s lots of tire-kicking, due diligence and potential scouting information to be gleaned from workouts like these, and while Andrews could be considered a draftable prospect for New England, this doesn’t mean he’s a lock to hear his name called when the Patriots are on the clock this spring.
3. Free agency hasn’t even started yet, and the joint is already jumping in Buffalo. The Bills continued their offseason makeover on Wednesday with the announcement of the acquisition of former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel. That move comes on the heels of Tuesday’s trade between the Eagles and Buffalo that netted the Bills running back LeSean McCoy. (For what it’s worth, McCoy has played in one regular-season game against the Patriots while with Philly, and had 10 carries for 31 yards and a touchdown, to go along with four catches for 30 yards.) When it comes to offseason deals, it’s important to remember the words of John Wooden, who said “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” But at the same time, it’s hard not to notice what the Bills have done to this point in the year, which has included the pickup of veteran offensive lineman Richie Incognito. Should make for an interesting year in Buffalo, and could make them an early favorite to be the Patriots opening night opponent, something we alluded to here (second item).
|Forget Jets — Rex Ryan’s Bills would be Patriots’ chief competition for Darrelle Revis if CB reaches free agency||at 7:00 am ET|
Over the course of the season, it was clear that while Revis acknowledged his six seasons with the Jets were positive, the relationship with his old coach Rex Ryan was even deeper. In December, he acknowledged that he and Rex “have a lot of history,” and added it was “kind of sad” to see the situation Ryan was going through while New York circled the drain at the end of the 2014 season.
“It’s kind of sad for the position that Rex is in right now. But at the same time [the record is] something that they’ve got to change,” Revis said at the time.
“Me and Rex have a lot of history, and we all know that,” he added. “Some of those guys are dear to my heart and everything, but like I said, I’ve got to focus on the things that I am doing here and I wish Rex the best.”
In addition, Revis has no ties to new Jets coach Todd Bowles, and unless Woody Johnson offers him an insane deal (which is entirely possible, given the fact that it’s Woody Johnson) the idea of Revis back in Green and White makes little to no sense. Rex isn’t there, and most all of his former teammates who helped construct one of the better defensive packages of the last dozen or so years aren’t there either. You can’t go home again.
Instead, the Bills are a far more palatable destination spot for the cornerback, at least when stacked against the Jets. They have money, and Revis and the coach have a rosy history together. According to our pal Mike Rodak, Buffalo has $27.1 million in salary-cap space for 2015, as of Tuesday afternoon, the 12th-most in the league, and so they’d certainly be able to present a competitive deal. It’s entirely possible that some of that could change in the wake of Tuesday’s decision to trade for running back LeSean McCoy, but even then, the Bills should be in good enough financial shape to put together a package for Revis.