Buffalo Bills: Derek Boyko Hiring Shows Start of Image Rehab
The Buffalo Bills personnel change at the top shows a complete deviation from the course set by Rex Ryan.
During the Rex Ryan era for the Buffalo Bills, they succeeded the New York Jets in becoming a media magnet in terms of personal relations nightmares. From players underperforming, to coaches constantly answering questions about their futures, to rumors of internal dysfunction, the Bills upper management needed to make a move to get their PR addressed. On Thursday, the Bills finally made such a move.
Buffalo hired Derek Boyko as their newest front office member, where he will assume the newly appointed position of Vice President of Communications, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Boyko spent his first 17 seasons in the NFL as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, where he held the position of Director of Personal Relations.
Now that Boyko has been hired, his primary task will be to ensure that the organization’s reputation outside of Buffalo regains the respect it once had before Ryan arrived. There has been a growing consensus that the Bills locker room was a major source of the team’s struggles last season, with players not giving 100 percent effort during practices and games. Ryan’s coaching style was also criticized as not holding players accountable for their performance and reportedly lacked the discipline that Bills owner Terry Pegula had hoped for.
Boyko should be the right man for the job, as he was in a similar position with the Eagles at the end of the 2015 season with the Chip Kelley/Howie Roseman situation. Fortunately for Boyko, the Buffalo media isn’t quite as hostile as their Philadelphia counterparts.
Also working in Boyko’s favor is that the Bills now are starting with a clean slate. Having fired Ryan and hired Sean McDermott from the Carolina Panthers to replace him, Boyko figures to have a smooth transition from the unpredictable Ryan to the soft spoken McDermott. However, another season like the previous two could change that perception in a hurry.
And it’ll be deja vu all over again.
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