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Rex on long passes against: \"I'm tired of seeing it\"

November 16, 2016 - 8:55 am

By Sal Capaccio

Twitter @Salports

Rex Ryan says he’s “tired of seeing it.”  He also says he knows the fans are tired of seeing it.

The Bills head coach made it clear Wednesday that the possible changes coming to the secondary are a result of his team giving up too many big passing plays.

As documented here last week, the Bills have, through only nine games, already given up more plays of 50-yards or more through the air than they had over any full season during the current sixteen year playoff drought.

Rex said the problem has been more due to technique than communication, something that plagued his team all last season.

“Well I think technique is the biggest issue,” he said.  “That’s the one that we have to get fixed.  We’ve had much better communication (this year).  That’s why I say our defense is way better than it was last year, in my opinion.  The numbers might not (show it).  I’ll be honest, I’m shocked that the numbers aren’t better.  But that part of it we’ve pretty much straightened out.”

Ryan acknowledges, however, that it was a communication issue when the Patriots' Chris Hogan beat Stephon Gilmore for a 53-yard TD pass down the sideline a couple weeks ago.

“We obviously had one glaring mistake in the New England game,” he said.  “But we were beaten more physically against Seattle than we were busting coverages.  We never played the coverages the way we wanted to play them, I can tell you that much.”

On Monday, Ryan said there would be more competition at cornerback headed into this week’s game at Cincinnati.  After practice that day Corey White confirmed there is now an “open competition” at one of the spots between him and Ronald Darby.

Wednesday, Ryan went a bit further saying that rookie Kevon Seymour will also get more looks at the nickel cornerback spot normally held by Nickell Robey-Coleman.

“You’re job is to, whatever happens, you don’t get beat deep on a certain call and that’s what we should go to the bank with," he said.  "That’s what our football team should be able to bank on.  And if you give up a deep pass then there’s an issue.  But I think (from) a technique standpoint, you know people aren’t playing us the exact same way they played us last year.  So, offenses make adjustments, on defense you have to make adjustments and sometimes it’s though our technique.”

Last year, the Bills only gave up three passes all season of 50-yards or more.  And one of those was a short pass to a running back turned into a long gain because of missed tackles.  One of the difference from last year to this year is a change in secondary coaches.  Gone is Donnie Henderson.  Tim McDonald remained on staff and primarily works with the cornerbacks.  Ed Reed was brought in to help with all DBs but mostly work with the safeties.

Ryan dismissed any notion that the change in coaches has anything to do with the issue.

“I think we’re pretty well coached in the back end and all levels, especially our linebackers.  I think that’s a given,” Ryan said.  “But in the back end, it hasn’t appeared, you know I get it, we’re looking for something to point blame or whatever.  But we’re not making mistakes.  The mental mistakes are much less than it was in the past.  We just have to make a play or two.  That’s the big thing.  And I think once we do the confidence level will get better.”

That getting better needs to happen quickly.  The Bills face a Bengals team that’s sixth in the NFL in passing yards per play (7.53).  Their quarterback, Andy Dalton, trails only Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Dak Prescott averaging 8.05 yards per pass.  The Bengals’ AJ Green is second in the NFL in receiving yards with 964, third in receptions with 66, and is tied for a league-high six catches of 40 yards or more.  As a team, the Bengals already have ten completions of 40-yards or more through their first nine games, third most in the NFL.

As Ryan said towards the end of his media day press conference, "I'm tired of seeing it.  And I'm sure our fans are, as well."


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