The swagger, the one-liners, the remarkable self-assuredness -- it was all there. But after Ryan's opening remarks were through and reporters began asking questions about the Bills team he inherited, the reality of the coach's new situation was back in focus.
Orton has taken his dad mustache back into retirement, probably for good this time. Now Ryan, general manager Doug Whaley and offensive coordinator Greg Roman must decide if Manuel gets another shot as the team's answer behind center.
"That's a situation that's unresolved," Ryan acknowledged Wednesday. "I think that's a fair statement right now. Quarterback has to be part of the solution, but it doesn't have to be THE solution."
Whaley made it sound clear that Ryan will have options beyond Manuel by the time free agency and draft periods are complete.
"We're going to leave every option open at that position," Whaley said. "We're going to bring in competition and that's one of the mainstays since we've been together.
"We want competition at every position because competition raises the level of play. When you raise the level of play, there's going to be injuries so you know that guy behind him, the expectation won't dip."
Finding legit competition won't be easy. The free-agent pool is rarely fertile ground for agreeable QB talent; the fact that Ryan has acknowledged he's open to a reunion with Sanchez tells you everything you need to know. Finding an immediate solution in the draft is an even bigger challenge. This path is doubly treacherous seeing as Buffalo doesn't own a first-round pick this year.
And this is why many were surprised when Ryan took the Bills job. On the surface, he appears to willingly put himself in the same situation he had in New York. And we know how that turned out.