ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- As the Buffalo Bills' defense sank in several statistical categories this season, questions on social media poured in about why the Bills couldn't return to the scheme that worked so well under former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz the season prior.
But on Monday, Rex Ryan told "Mike and Mike" on ESPN Radio that trying to incorporate what was familiar to the Bills' defense actually backfired, and he indicated that the Bills would run a more pure version of Ryan's defense next season.
"It was unusual for us. We really thought we'd bring it together. I probably did some things -- when I go back and I look at things, we're going to do things much differently next year, and we're going to be better because of it," Ryan said. "In a way, I tried to merge a couple things, two systems and things like that, and quite honestly it didn't work. So we're going to be all in, we're going to play Buffalo Bills defense, and we're not going to be fun to play."
Ryan had given little indication about how much of the defense's previous scheme he had tried to mix with his own. In fact, when players began to grumble about Ryan's system last October, he notably declared, "We will play our defense" after considering their concerns.
Rex Ryan has hired his twin brother, Rob Ryan, as an assistant head coach/defense in a move that could double down on Ryan's commitment to go "all in" with the brothers' longstanding scheme this season.
"That's a huge thing," Ryan said Monday. "We got better yesterday because we were able to get my brother. One thing I know about him is that he's probably the most -- football is such a passion for him. Nobody works harder than my brother. He's prepared as well as any coach in the league, and he's an outstanding coach. So like I said, we got better yesterday."