Buried in the free agency news cycle of a week ago, Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas was on CBS Sports Radio to discuss a myriad of topics. The most important for the 2016 season had to do with Rex Ryan's foot, which has been metaphorically inserted into his mouth a time or two during his time as head coach in New York and Buffalo.
Specifically, Rex's bravado rubbed some in Western New York the wrong way.
"When you bring in a coach like Rex Ryan, I think at the end of the season, he learned to [be] like, 'I can't be saying a lot more stuff. I can't be saying stuff like I did in the past. I got to really go out and prove that I'm worthy of being a head football coach in the National Football League,'" Thomas said, via ESPN. "So I think this year, coming into it, you're going to see a different Rex Ryan. I think that's gonna be a shocker to a lot of different people around the country.
"But I think he's learned his lesson. You have to perform on the field. And when you talk as much as he did last year, and the performance wasn't there, a lot of people are going to doubt, ‘Are you the right coach for the Buffalo Bills?' And I think now, he's into his second year, I expect him to go to the playoffs. But we'll wait and see on that."
Just how much did Rex Ryan talk last offseason? We wrote a satire post about Rex's promises being enough to sustain human life. He guaranteed the playoffs. He said the 2014 Bills finishing fourth in defense was "disappointing." This offseason, his tone is different so far beginning in December when he said he "let his mouth get ahead of everything."
Will this "new Rex" continue through training camp into the season? Time will tell. History isn't on the winning side of that argument, though. Still Thurman, Rex, and Bills fans everywhere hope this is the season he can lead Buffalo to the playoffs.