On Sunday we found out Rex Ryan was staying in New York after all.
The longtime New York Jets head coach is heading to Buffalo to be the next head coach of the Bills. Ryan replaces Doug Marrone, who unexpectedly resigned from that same post last week in spite of a 9-7 campaign in 2014.
The rambunctious Ryan has a new job. Here are four things to know about the hire:
1. Ryan inherits a very good defense
Ryan's work with the Jets defense has never come into question. After piecing together a top-five caliber unit in each of his six seasons with Gang Green, Ryan now inherits the second-ranked defense DVOA in the NFL, first against the pass and fourth against the run.
The defensive line boasts Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, and will return linebacker Kirk Alonso in 2015. Jerry Hughes is an impending free agent, but will be a crucial piece the team should try to bring back.
2. Another young quarterback to groom
After failing to get fulfill the promise of both Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, Ryan now takes a turn trying to groom 2013 first-rounder E.J. Manuel, who was benched early in the 2014 season in favor of journeyman Kyle Orton. Bills ownership made it known they wanted a coach that would help develop Manuel. So Rex, you're up.
Ryan's hire becomes that much more interesting because of this. The Bills had interviewed 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich in an effort to find an offensive-minded head coach. Ryan is quite the opposite.
Nathaniel Hackett is still listed as the Bills' offensive coordinator. The question is for how much longer.
3. Trestman on the way to Upstate New York?
There were reports in the prior few days that Ryan wanted to pair up with former Bears head coach Marc Trestman. An offensive guru, Trestman is seemingly the perfect fit alongside Ryan as the two have clear-cut specialties, and alone their teams have struggled on the other sides of the ball.
As mentioned earlier, Hackett is still the Bills' offensive coordinator. But Trestman once turned Josh McCown into the top free-agent quarterback on the market after his work in 2013. Then, the journeyman to led the Bears to being the second-highest scoring team in the NFL at 27.8 points per game. Only Peyton Manning's Broncos scored more points per game.
4. AFC East incentive
According to reports, Ryan's first choice for his next job was to head to Atlanta and take over a team that was a win away from claiming the NFC South and advancing to the postseason. It looks like after a second interview, Falcons management wasn't convinced Ryan was the right fit to take the reins.
By going to Buffalo, Ryan has a chance to remain in the AFC East, a division he's quite familiar with. Adding even more intrigue to the mix, Ryan has a chance to face his former team, the Jets, twice a year. We'll continue to get awesome Bill Belichick-centric speeches and hear Ryan drool over Tom Brady.
This hire makes Ryan the first coach to change teams within the same division since Bill Parcells did so by moving to the Jets back in 1997, per ESPN Stats & Information. Of course, Parcells was at the helm of New England the prior season.
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