Rex Ryan is an excellent defensive coach, a master motivator and, by all accounts, a genuinely affable fellow.
When the story of his coaching career is written, though, hubris will stand out as a dominant theme.
After six months on the job, his troops have already shown telltale signs of indoctrination into the trademark Ryan hyperbole.
"We want to be the best (defense) in history -- one of the greatest," linebacker Nigel Bradham recently said, via the Toronto Sun. "That's what we're striving for ... the greatest of all time, not just this year or last year."
That sounds reasonable. The Bills' defense is one of the most talented units in the league. Why not strive to make history?
Why can't you?
Last year's Bills ranked fourth in total defense, fourth in scoring defense, first in sacks and third in takeaways. Impressive, sure, but hardly the inspiration for NFL Films' mythmaking department.
Unless Ryan's strategy and schemes push his defense past the Seahawks as the NFL's transcendent group over the next couple of years, they have no place at the table with the likes of the 1970s "Steel Curtain" Steelers, the 1977 "Grits Blitz" Falcons, the 2000 Ravens and the 2002 Buccaneers -- much less the lights-out 1985 Bears defense guided by Rex's father, Buddy.