So the Buffalo Bills have hired Rex Ryan as their new coach, and my New York Jets have hired Todd Bowles, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.
Ryan's opening press conference with the Bills was very impressive. He seemed to be the old Rex again, brimming with confidence and swagger, all leavened with a healthy sense of humor. He promised to make the Bills a "bully," a team that no one will want to play. I believe him.
I have not seen Bowles address the media yet. Must admit, I don't know much about him. He has a good resume, and from what I hear, a very different persona than Rex. They are both defensive coaches, but Rex is a so-called player's coach while Bowles is a disciplinarian. Which might be great if the Jets suffered from a lack of discipline, but I really don't think that was their problem. It was lack of talent, especially at the quarterback position, that doomed Gang Green.
Ryan and Bowles both face the same problem: neither the Bills nor the Jets has a NFL-calibre starting quarterback, in a league where you really need a star at that position. Buffalo got by last year with journeyman Kyle Orton, who has since retired, leaving them only with E.J. Manuel. The Jets have Geno Smith. Manuel and Smith were both high drafts picks, and both appear to be busts. Backing up Smith, the Jets have the aging Michael Vick. The Bills… I have no idea, actually.
Unless Marcus Mariota falls to sixth in the draft, or the Jets pick up a new quarterback in free agency, I fear they are going to have another very bad year in 2015. Neither Geno Smith nor Michael Vick is the answer. And Rex may not fare much better in Buffalo.
But both teams should have hellancious defenses. Maybe they will play a couple of 0-0 ties next season.
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