BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan took a surprising shot at East Carolina Monday in his news conference – just like his father once did.
The Bills beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in what may have saved his job. But the Bills are still only 7-8 on the season and have missed the playoffs 16 straight years.
And Ryan was addressing whether the Bills would be ready to play Sunday against the 10-5 New York Jets.
“This team is a complete football team,” he said of the Jets. “No surprise they have the record they have.
“But just to get a win, I don’t care if we’re playing East Carolina, you want to get a win, there’s no question about it.”
Years ago, Rex Ryan’s father, Buddy, took a similar jab at ECU in 1989. When Jimmy Johnson became head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Buddy Ryan said winning in the NFL wouldn’t be so easy.
“There are no East Carolinas in the NFL,” Buddy Ryan said.
The unexpected jab drew a harsh response from some East Carolina fans. Carl Davis of Raleigh, a former chair of the East Carolina Alumni Association, wrote Ryan:
I find it ironic that you chose to follow your father’s path with the “no East Carolina’s” comment. Maybe you should share the records and the facts with him.
First of all, your father’s record as a head coach in 8 seasons is .500. I can see why you are proud of him since your winning percentage is .482 in seven years. I can see that you have proudly followed in your father’s footsteps with no conference championships in a combined 15 seasons.
As far as your team is concerned, in the last 16 seasons the Buffalo Bills have had two winning seasons with 9-7 records. Despite this great run, the Bills have failed to make the playoffs for 16 consecutive years.
You might want to look at the record of the ECU Pirates. In the past 10 years, the Pirates have had seven winning seasons. In that time, East Carolina has won two conference championships. In the past three years we are currently 5-1against teams from the ACC.
The only record I can find of a Rex Ryan team playing East Carolina was from 1997. You were the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati and lost to a 5-7 East Carolina team 14-7. Maybe you forgot about your only actual experience with East Carolina?
Maybe the coaches in the NFC should be saying “there are no Bills or no Ryans in the NFC”.