In a radio spot last week, Buffalo Bills legend Thurman Thomas made statements about current head coach Rex Ryan that proved to be premature.
Essentially, Thomas asserted that Ryan realizes he must still prove himself as a viable head coach in the NFL after the head coach’s boastful claims from before the season weren’t realized.
“So I think this year, coming into it, you’re going to see a different Rex Ryan,” Thomas said in a CBS Radio spot, via ESPN.com. “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…”
Ryan had come close to a guarantee last preseason that Buffalo would be playing during the postseason. Obviously, that didn’t happen. The Bills went 8-8, Ryan’s defense was disappointing all year and injuries affected the offense’s ability to stay cohesive.
But nobody was surprised about Ryan’s claims to begin with. In fact, wherever he’s landed going back to his days as the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, Ryan has been considered a bit of a loudmouth.
It was actually not exactly smart of Thomas to assume that a season of humble pie would cause Ryan to stop being Ryan. And based on his comments, you’d think perhaps he had heard those claims from the horse’s mouth.
However, in response to Thomas’ comments, Ryan makes it clear this isn’t the case.
“First off I think with Thurman — and I really like Thurman — he cares deeply about his team,” Ryan said, per Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News. “I expected to be in the playoffs last year. Didn’t happen and we’re all disappointed about it, there is no question about it. I’m hoping for different results but I’ll always be myself.”
Remember, this is the same guy who has made Super Bowl or bust statements more than once as a head coach.
He’s not going to stop making bold statements about where he sees his team in the prophetic sense, because in his mind his teams are always going to be good enough to get to the promised land.
And that’s not a horrid quality in a head coach. Heck, his players love it about him. Is he perfect? No. But if you line him up on a level playing field and were having a fantasy coaching draft, Ryan would not last halfway through that process.
The Bills might not make the playoffs again this year, but nobody should expect Ryan to think or say they won’t.