That's what the Bills' owner told her own in-house radio show this week when asked about the former Jets head coach who was signed to a hefty five-year contract last week.
"It was a little bit of a surprise, I'm going to admit, because he was not a candidate that we had really on the top of our list as, 'Wow, this is the guy we want. Let's go get him,'" Kim said, via The John Murphy Show. "We were just being very open-minded about everybody. But he really came in and really kind of elevated himself to that top position, where we said, 'Hey, listen, we need to have another talk with this guy.' "
Pegula is experiencing what many do when they meet Ryan for the first time. He's earnest up front and extremely engaging, which is difficult to ignore, especially for first-time owners.
While we're not suggesting the Pegulas made a mistake -- Ryan's energy alone will re-energize a fan base that needs an identity beyond C.J. Spiller -- it's not surprising he won them over quickly and toppled the list of candidates.
She did not mention who the previous No. 1 candidate was.
Of course, anyone who has been in a room with Ryan knows it doesn't matter. He is the consummate salesman.
But can his brand of bully football -- defense first, powered by the run game -- finally succeed without a top-tier quarterback driving the ship?
The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps Championship Sunday, and breaks down the Seahawks' historic comeback against the Packers. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.