Rex Ryan feels Bills 'will surprise a ton of people'


Rex Ryan's run in Buffalo ended in comprehensive disaster, but he isn't finished sticking up for the Bills.

Now an analyst with ESPN, Ryan recently balked at a prediction in USA Today suggesting that Buffalo would flounder to a 4-12 campaign.

"There's no way in hell," Ryan said, per The Buffalo News. "That's a coach's dream, to have that kind of prediction because there is no pressure on you, but I think that is total bull. If that is the case, why was I fired when I was fired if that's how bad this team was? So, I don't get that. To saddle them with four wins, I totally disagree with that."

Ryan was canned last season following an overtime loss to Miami that dropped the Bills to 7-8. Along the way, he produced a pair of chaotic, disappointing campaigns in Buffalo, failing to snap an ugly streak that hasn't seen the team make the playoffs since 1999.

"I feel the Bills will surprise a ton of people," Ryan said. "They are kind of trying to float this under the radar stuff, which I get. That's probably the way to go, that's the way everybody goes. Undersell and overproduce. I get it. I believe they will have a lot better year than the experts. Could they be a playoff team? They might very well be."

This year's Bills under Sean McDermott face the same obstacle Ryan couldn't topple: the New England Patriots. Playoff predictions don't make much sense until Buffalo can take down the king of the AFC East, but Ryan clearly wishes well for Buffalo's uber-loyal fan base.

"The fans were always there for me, that team, that city. And that's the beauty of Buffalo and the resolve of their people," Ryan said. "It ain't easy all those years not going [to the playoffs]. But you know what, we are going to roll up our sleeves and go at it again. And that's the way that community is. And I think that's what they appreciated about me because they know I tried. They know damn well, I tried."