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Bills fans admit frustration but remain hopeful as team seeks new coach

WBFO file photo

For Buffalo Bills fans, it may be a feeling of "here we go again," but those leading fan groups tell WBFO a coaching change was in order, as they reacted to the dismissals Tuesday of head coach Rex Ryan and his brother, defensive coach Rob Ryan.

Del Reid, co-founder of the popular social media network #BillsMafia, shared the sentiment that Ryan's downfall stemmed from the team's decline at defense.

"My impressions of him were always somewhat negative when he was coaching downstate," said Reid of Ryan, who previously coached the New York Jets before coming to Buffalo. "But certainly Bills fans - we're a desperate lot - when he got hired, it was exciting to have somebody take the helm who was as boisterous as he was.'

But now Ryan joins the list of nine coaches who have led the Bills since the year 2000. As exhausted as Bills fans may be, many remain loyal to their team. Rich Jesse, president of the Dunkirk-based Southern Tier Bills Booster Club, is among several peers who have held season tickets for more than 30 years.

Jesse says the Bills have been through the cycle before, enduring years of woe before emerging as a playoff contender.

"It happened in the 70s and in the later 80s when we were going through those bad teams and bad records," Jesse said. "Nobody thought that we could ever go to the Super Bowl, one Super Bowl let alone four in a row, so there definitely is hope."

Fans may become excited again when the team, along with its fellow National Football League franchises, hold their annual player draft in the spring. 

"There's a lot of luck involved by hitting the right draft choices, getting the right quarterback to fit in with the team," Jesse said.

WBFO asked the question: if baseball's Chicago Cubs can finally end a decades-long championship drought as they did in October, could Lady Luck finally smile on One Bills Drive?

"We just need to find our Theo Epstein," said Reid, laughing. "We need to find the master architect who can take a perennially disappointing franchise and turn it into a championship team."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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