Rex Ryan won't have to kiss Bill Belichick's rings in his next coaching stop either. Because the bombastic head coach is taking his mouth and his defense to western New York as head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
Talk about a punch to the gut of the Jets. Ryan will not leave the AFC East after the Jets fired him two weeks ago following a horrific 4-12 season, instead opting to sign with their division rivals. If the Jets-Bills rivalry has come across as stale over the years, those days are over. With Ryan in Buffalo, the hate between the two teams is going to ignite big time.
The biggest knock on Ryan has been his inability to develop a quarterback. He failed twice with Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, and Buffalo's lone incumbent, E.J. Manuel reminds a lot of people of Smith. This is an odd pairing. Ryan is not a great head coach, and the Bills are not a well run ship of an organization.
Ryan did have second interviews with both the Falcons and Bills, but word on the street said that Atlanta was "dragging their feet," and planned to interview Todd Bowles on Sunday. Perhaps that irked Ryan who decided to head to Buffalo instead. the Bills are going to pay him well; five years, $27.5 million over the course of the deal.
The question now will be how will Ryan purge the Jets remaining coaching staff and roster? It is believed that Ryan would like to bring in Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman into Buffalo in the same capacity, yet, the Bills want their current D.C. Jim Schwartz to remain in the organization. The drama is starting already.
Plus there are a number of Jets free agents including David Harris and Willie Colon who probably would like to reunite with Ryan up in Buffalo.
This is going to be fun. This is nothing unique for this division. Bill Parcells left the Patriots for the Jets in 1997. Then, Bill Belichick returned the favor leaving Gang Green for New England, creating one of the NFL's most intense rivalries. One can argue that the AFC East is now the Jets Division. With Belichick still in Foxboro, Mike Tannenbaum now running the show in Miami and Ryan in Buffalo, there are ex-Jets all over the place!
In response to Ryan's signing, the Jets are close to inking Mike Maccagnan to a deal to become the team's next General Manger. Mccagnan has spent the past three days in New Jersey working out a deal, and rumor had it that he was to fly to Seattle to bring back defensive coordinator Dan Quinn if the Seahawks had lost to Carolina. Of course Seattle won, and the Jets will have to wait at least another week before getting Quinn aboard.
The Jets are smitten with Quinn and they are the favorites to land him as their 18th head coach in franchise history.
It's getting interesting. Won't be surprised at all if the Jets and Bills are scheduled to do battle within the first two weeks of the season next year.