Rex Ryan had quite the press conference today in front of the assembled media, and his tone was slightly different from what we’ve heard in the past.
The Buffalo Bills head coach, well-known as a “players’ coach,” wasn’t shy about offering some stern comments that, well, won’t be categorized as “player friendly.”
However, as usual, everything he said came across as genuine, and it’ll be hard for even the biggest Rex detractor to fault anything he mentioned while standing on the podium, especially considering the 4-5 Bills must go on a late-season winning streak to make the playoffs.
After stating “we're about as healthy as we've been all season,” Rex said:
Rex: "Teams aren't fearing throwing the ball vertically against us. I think that's the biggest issue." #Bills— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) November 16, 2016
Rex on #Bills' secondary battle: "Not going to say anybody's a front-runner. We'll play the hot hand."— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) November 16, 2016
Rex says they'll also be giving Kevon Seymour more opportunities at the nickel CB spot as CB competition continues.— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) November 16, 2016
"It's my responsibility to play the best guys out there. The guys that give us the best chance to win." - Rex— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) November 16, 2016
A lot of talk today from Rex about giving up the deep ball and how he's "tired of seeing it."— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) November 16, 2016
Clearly, Rex is staying true to the open competition in the secondary after the team had an extra week to evaluate.
He also discussed other positional battles and touched on confidence:
Rex on O-line competition at C and RT: "We're going to work some guys. Seantrel Henderson has looked good in practice (at RT)."— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) November 16, 2016
Rex says "absolutely" Jerel Worthy has earned a further look at more playing time. "He's really playing well"— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) November 16, 2016
#Bills Rex Ryan: "We have to get better. No ifs, ands, or buts. We have to get better on the back end of the defense."— Will Selva (@WillSelvaTV) November 16, 2016
"It's not just about (Darby's) confidence. It's about our confidence (as a team)" - Rex Ryan— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) November 16, 2016
After saying “it’s time to set Percy Harvin free this week,” Rex ended his candid presser with more striking but much-needed overarching comments that culminated with this headliner:
Rex: "I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to win." #Bills— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) November 16, 2016
The Bills likely can afford just one loss over the final seven games of the 2016 regular season to make the postseason, and Rex sounds extremely driven to correct defensive mistakes to help Buffalo go on run.