(Reuters) - Rex Ryan was as brash and outspoken as ever on Wednesday, promising to “build a bully” of a team and end the Buffalo Bills’ 15-year playoff drought after being introduced as the team’s head coach.
The Bills own the National Football League’s longest active playoff drought but Ryan, in bullish mood, guaranteed that his new team will return to the postseason and chase a maiden Super Bowl title.
As he tapped his microphone at the start of his introductory news conference, Ryan said: “Is this thing on? Because it’s getting ready to be on.”
He then outlined his pledge to Bills supporters, having been named on Monday as the team’s head coach in place of Doug Marrone, who abruptly stepped down after Buffalo went 9-7 in the 2014 season.
“I’m not going to let our fans down,” said Ryan, who is known as a defensive specialist. “I’m not going to do that. I know it’s been 15 years since the Bills made the playoffs.
“Well, get ready man. We’re going. The guarantee? Hey, am I going to guarantee a Super Bowl? I tell you what I will do, I will guarantee the pursuit of it. We want to bring a championship to Buffalo.”
Ryan, 52, spent the last six seasons as head coach of the AFC East division rival Jets, a team he lead to the penultimate round of the NFL playoffs in his first two years in charge.
But he was unable to lead the Jets to a winning record in each of the last four campaigns and was fired last month after the team finished near the bottom of the league standings with a 4-12 record. He had a 46-50 regular season record in New York.
With the Bills, he inherits a defense that was fourth-best in the league last season in yards allowed and yielded three Pro Bowl linemen.
“Fourth in the league was probably a little disappointing,” said Ryan, an outspoken coach with a lively personality. “I know we’ll lead the league in defense.
“We’re going into every game expecting to win, regardless of who we play. We expect to play great defense but we want to win and we don’t care what it looks like. We are going to build a bully and we’re gonna see if you want to play it for 60 minutes.
“Are we going to do ‘ground and pound’? Yeah. You’re darn right we are. Are we going to throw it? Yeah, we got Sammy Watkins outside, why wouldn’t we throw it?”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue