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Rex Ryan: I'll bet anyone I can turn this around


HERTFORDSHIRE, England -- Since his first day as an NFL head coach, Rex Ryan only had one rule with his players when it came to speaking with the media: Mention two other players and an assistant coach.

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This was his way of rationalizing a muzzle-free approach and, on the eve of his first practice here in England, it was a perfect transition into a joke about Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus, the two highest-paid players on his defense who also happen to be his most vocal critics.

"I never put a muzzle on a player, or whatever," Ryan said of the recent criticism from Dareus and Williams that he's not attacking enough. "It's a free country, you're allowed to speak. As long as they mention two players and a coach in there -- I mean, they got the coach. Not very flattering, but sometimes that happens. And in the heat of the battle, we're so competitive."

So in a way, the solace provided by their hotel, a country club resort almost an hour outside of London, was welcome. He said they planned it this way -- another joke to deflect the fact that Buffalo is 3-3, nestled firmly in third place in the AFC East.

Ryan always seems to be dodging fire but at least this week he's doing it on acres of perfectly tailored grass. He held his press conference Wednesday morning in a green house. The Bills will be practicing just a few hundred yards from a golf course and trees a quarter-mile high.

It was a break from the constant rotating circle of Ryan-isms. When things are good, his lidless locker room is a non-stop factory of steam and bravado. When things go bad, they go bad quickly and publicly.

When asked if his defense has ever come under this much scrutiny before, Ryan grabbed at the podium.

"No I am not. I am definitely irritated, but I think when I was at Morehead State years ago, that one writer there ..."

More laughs.

"Quite honestly, I make fun of it because I know where we're going to end up. Guys, I'd be willing to bet anybody."

So it goes for the Bills head coach. He'll be here all week.

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