Will the Bills defense be better in 2016?
Below is a quick summary of how we guessed each defensive unit would do in 2016 compared to 2015.
It’s no secret that the Bills defense under Rex Ryan did not perform in his first season as head coach of the team. In his years as a head coach, or defensive coordinator, his defenses have only finished out of the top ten in the league twice. Once being last season when they ranked 19th and the other time they were ranked just one spot out of the top ten at number 11. Say what you will about Rex Ryan’s knack for running his mouth but one thing cannot be disputed and it’s that the head coach knows defense better than just about any other coach in the league.
The issues on defense were caused by several problems. The team struggled to adapt to Rex Ryan’s scheme after spending two years in a much more simplistic scheme run by Jim Schwartz. This lead to communication problems between the coaching staff and the players.
It also was one of the reasons why Mario Williams was upset with head coach Rex Ryan and why Mario ultimately decided to take many plays off. The Bills also suffered some key injuries on the unit last year including both Aaron Williams and Kyle Williams who are two of their better veteran players on the unit.
The Bills now have a second year in Ryan’s system and they should be much more comfortable in the scheme and will have a better command of their assignments. On top of that, they added a tremendous amount of talent in the draft with Shaq Lawson, Adolphus Washington, and Kevon Seymour. Lawson should be back around mid-season to give the defense a boost.
With the influx of young talented players, the return of some seasoned veterans, and another year in Rex’s scheme, the defense should be way better in 2016. If they execute properly, which is a big if, they should easily land in the top ten in the league if not the top five. So now that we’ve established that we think the defense will be better, what about on special teams?
Next: What about Special Teams?