Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: Ryan to Coach Bills; Seahawks, Pats Open as Big Favorites

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: Ryan to Coach Bills; Seahawks, Pats Open as Big Favorites

Article excerpt

Rex Ryan is set to coach the Bills

Rex Ryan is staying in the AFC East after reaching an agreement Sunday to coach the Buffalo Bills. A person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press the former New York Jets coach accepted the Bills' contract offer after two days of discussions. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not publicly discussed their search to replace Doug Marrone, who stepped down abruptly Dec. 31.

The offer was made a day after the Bills identified Ryan as a finalist and met with him for a second time in Florida, where new owners Terry and Kim Pegula live. Ryan was one of 12 candidates to interview for the job since last weekend.

A second person familiar with talks told the AP the Bills are negotiating to hire Greg Roman as their offensive coordinator. Roman, a finalist for the Bills' coaching job, spent the past four years as the 49ers' offensive coordinator. Roman's future is uncertain in San Francisco after coach Jim Harbaugh left to coach Michigan. The Rams are also interested in Roman.

This is the Bills' sixth coaching search since Wade Phillips was fired after the 2000 season and the first since the Pegulas bought the team from the estate of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson in October.

The Bills went 9-7 to match their best record in a decade but missed the playoffs to extend the NFL's longest active drought to 15 seasons. But Marrone recently exercised an option in his contract to leave.

Ryan is very familiar with the Bills after spending the past six seasons coaching the Jets, Buffalo's AFC East rival. He had a 50-52 record, including 4-2 in the playoffs, with the Jets before being fired along with general manager John Idzik following a 4-12 finish.

Ryan's strength is defense, as it is with the Bills. Buffalo's defense finished fourth in the NFL in yards allowed last season and produced three Pro Bowl linemen. It's unclear how Ryan's arrival will affect the status of Buffalo's current defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, who completed his first season with the Bills. Schwartz is a former Lions head coach and was a candidate for the Bills' job. …

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