After losing in such a disappointing fashion out in Oakland a few weeks ago, I had it with Saint Doug. Yet, I wasn’t going to use this column to blast him on his way out. Bills fans are very aware of what he brought to the table, and good luck to whatever team gives him a shot. I can’t blame him for leaving, and understand why the new owner clause was put in his contract. Ralph’s health was never a secret, and Marrone like all of us knew change was on the horizon. He may have assumed the worst believing this team was headed elsewhere, or he might have just not wanted to start over. He felt he had already established himself, and his 15-17 record here must have clearly proved it. Either way, I am glad to see him go, and only hope we get a shot to play against one of his conservative-predictable-punting teams down the road.  
Once word came out that the coaching search was on, I was nervous. For years I have criticized the Bills organization for doing things the same old way when it came to hiring a front man. The names may have changed, but the quality remained the same. Clearly, the prior organization had a model and perception of a coach they wanted, and they didn’t go far or take long to find it. I am sure many fans shared my frustration when the Bills would interview five or six guys who I wanted nothing to do with. It started with Wade and continued all the way up to Marrone. The new ownership needed to show me that things would be different, and boy did they ever.
Terry and Kim Pegula immediately demonstrated their commitment to changing the culture by not only involving themselves in the hiring process, but also bringing in almost every available option for an interview. So often we hear the term “It’s a business” and Terry and Kim are proving it. The coaching search was unlike anything we have ever seen in this town before. They didn’t rush it making sure the process took its course. The “Same Old Bills” have been anything but predictable over the last few weeks and I love it. Hiring Rex Ryan has proved that we can continue to expect the unexpected from this administration including a business model that has already had a great deal of success.
Coach Ryan epitomizes the guy you hate to play against but love to have on your team. He’s brash. Nobody can integrate an F-bomb into an interview like he can. He’s cocky. The guy has been predicting a Super Bowl win for like ten years now. He’s honest. Telling it like it is comes with the territory. He enjoys the spotlight. He coached in a city that demanded it. He knows our division. Do you think he is cheering for the Pats next weekend? More than anything else, the guy wants to win. He could have easily went into the booth after this season ended. His personality would be a perfect fit and any network would have paid big money to bring him on. When his name surfaced for the job I knew he wanted it and wanted it bad. His future as an analyst is inevitable, but he wants the ring first. The guy is a trash talking master and before he can go on the set with a bunch of guys who have multiple championships he needs a little insurance.
Hating him was easy for all of us, but he isn’t a Jet anymore. He is our guy. Does he cure our quarterback dilemma? Of course not but he has done a pretty good job without a QB in the past. His job isn’t to find a QB, his job is to win. A good friend of mine who is a well-respected coach in the area told me his recipe for a winning franchise back in the summer. He pointed out three things that determine the success of your team above anything else in the NFL. He said, “the only way you are ever going to win in this league is with a great QB, a great defense, and a great coach.” Well coach TD the defense made the headlines this season, and the big name coach is making headlines in the offseason. If the Pegula’s, Russ, Whaley, and now Rex can continue to do the unexpected, we may be a lot closer to the top than anyone could have ever predicted. Everything has changed so quickly, so why can’t that trend continue? Last year at this time Ralph was still the boss, Marrone was calling the shots, and our future in Buffalo was a big question mark. Remember that as we search far and wide for someone to lead this offense next season.