Rex Ryan was shown the door in Buffalo after another lackluster season in 2016. Now he’s taken his personality and smile to the small screen as an analyst for ESPN.
Though his job title is far different, his alliances haven’t changed much since December.
In an extensive Q&A with The Buffalo News, Ryan praised Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor as “a winner” and said he “felt bad” about letting down Bills owner Terry Pegula.
But most interesting was his obvious belief in the Bills moving forward. When asked about USA Today’s prediction of the team to go 4-12 this upcoming season, Ryan said: “There’s no way in hell.”
Smith, 22, suffered nerve damage when he tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in his Notre Dame team’s Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1, 2016, an injury so severe many thought he’d never play again.
The Cowboys drafted him in 2016 and he has been rehabbing the knee since.
“He hasn’t disappointed,” coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. “The expectations for him as a guy were really high, and I think he’s exceeded all of them.”
Smith will continue to wear a brace on his ankle and foot, a consequence of the nerve damage, according to the Star-Telegram, which added that the Cowboys plan to limit his reps in practice and won’t let him practice in full pads on consecutive days.
“We have a plan for everything we have done,” Smith said. “We have started off slow. We have continued to progress. We have succeeded. So I don’t anticipate that stopping. It was a matter of getting out there and going. I was really excited. It’s a great accomplishment. But this is the first of it.”