BUFFALO, NY (The Spread) - In a bit of a surprise, the Buffalo Bills have hired Rex Ryan to be their new head coach.
Ryan had plenty of suitors once he was fired by the Jets at the conclusion of the 2014 NFL regular season. He interviewed with the Falcons, who were considered the favorites to land Ryan according to several media analysts. But in the end, Ryan decided to stay in the AFC East.
One reason why Ryan chose Buffalo over Atlanta is because the Bills have much more to work with on the defensive side of the ball. Ryan would have had to re-build a disastrous Atlanta defense, where as in Buffalo he already has a core group of defensive players at his disposal. Ryan also already knows the division having coached in New York, so that may have been another strong pull for him in Buffalo.
Of course, one reason why many expected Ryan to land in Atlanta is because the Falcons have a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan. While Ryan has a brutal playoff record, there's no question that he's better than anything Rex has had to work with in his career. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Ryan is expected to hire former 49ers assistant Greg Roman as his offensive coordinator. Assuming they stick with the former first round pick, Roman will have a huge project on his hands in E.J. Manuel.