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Marcell Dareus: Bills' D can be 'best ever' with Rex

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.

From the day he stepped into the Jets' head job seven years ago, he has mastered the role of the carnival barker, annually billing his flawed teams as Super Bowl contenders.

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?

"Best ever," Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said of the Bills' goal. "It's so obtainable. All we have to do is continue to do what we want, and not what we can. If we do what we want, and do everything to head in that direction, why can't we? Why can't we?"

Why can't you?

Let's start with the more "obtainable" goal of knocking the Seahawks off their perch as the dominant defense of the era.

Buffalo's defensive front features difference-makers in the form of Dareus, Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes. But the back end doesn't hold a candle to Seattle's "Legion of Boom."

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.

Ryan is a delightful character in an NFL coaching world that is too often typified by stodgy and buttoned-up behavior. The NFL's resident ringmaster couldn't survive in Florham Park, however, once his BigTop started going up in flames.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Russell Wilson's contract, and the guys list their Comeback Player of the Year candidates. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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