For Rex Ryan, 2015 was a bit of a humbling year.
He predicted the Buffalo Bills would make the playoffs, but he was wrong. He also said the Bills would top the defensive rankings that the 2014 Bills registered. Rex was wrong again.
As the Bills sputtered to an 8-8 record in 2015, the offseason served as a time for the head coach to go soul searching, and now he vows not to make any more predictions about the 2016 version of his team. But the question is, has anything else changed about Rex Ryan?
Following a session of Organized Team Activities on Wednesday, some of his players gave their opinion on the matter, and concluded that their coach is still the same guy.
"Well it is hard to say at this point," center Eric Wood said. "Practices are very similar, high energy, a lot of enthusiasm. I know he is pleased with how the defense is communicating and we can see that on film as an offense. The attitude and the effort feels like last year."
"He is still same, fun to be around, but at the same time you are going to work," tight end Charles Clay added. "Nothing has changed in that regard."
"He has been the same guy as he was in year one," linebacker Manny Lawson remarked. "And that is one of the things that really makes him Rex and one of the things I really admire and cherish about him is that he is the same person on the field, off the field."
Even if his players don't see the change, Rex has searched within and sees the change in himself.
"I’ve changed a lot," Ryan said, despite what his team said in response to the question. "I went back to knowing that, you know what? I’m a guy that believes in myself a great deal and I believe in the guys that are around me. But the way that I grew up, my way of playing defense, in my opinion, is the best way.
And I think more than ever it showed me that, and I’m not blaming anything else... I’m responsible for what was on the field last year, 100 percent. But I’ve also been responsible for every team that I’ve ever coached, 100 percent. So we’ll see how it goes but I expect to be really good, I think we’ll be much improved from last year, and I guess time will tell."