Unfortunately, I can’t wish you all a happy Red Friday this week. With the Chiefs season over, we now turn our eyes to the offseason. The same is true for just about the rest of the league, and we’re seeing that in the headlines (or lack thereof). Teams are getting their strategies locked into place, and that means a bit of a halt on personnel moves. And with the limited number of games, there is also a shortage of injury news as well. That’s going to make for a light NFL news roundup for the next few weeks.
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However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to talk about. The big story this week comes out of Buffalo where the league took a step forward in being more inclusive to everyone. I know there are some who don’t see this as a big deal…you’re wrong. I know there are some who think it’s a bad thing…you’re wrong. It’s always the right thing to give people opportunity based on their ability and potential rather than what they look like. And that takes us straight to our Lead Story…
Lead Story: Bills Hire First Full-Time Female Coach
This past offseason saw a step in the right direction when it came to equality in the NFL. While the arguments against women players still holds some very valid points, there hasn’t really ever been a good reason why women couldn’t take on other roles. The Cardinals proved that when they hired Jen Welter as an intern Linebackers Coach. The results were positive. There were no clear strains placed on the team, and all accounts were that she did well in the position.
The Bills have taken it to the next step by hiring Kathryn Smith as the first woman to take on a full-time coaching role. Rex Ryan has never been one to shy away from making spotlight moves. In fact, he’s already made a pair of them prior to this by hiring his brother, Rob Ryan, to be the Defensive Coordinator in 2016, and in hiring former All-World safety, Ed Reed, to be the Assistant Defensive Backs Coach. And while I think one of those moves is laughable (not Reed), it does go to show that Ryan will do things his own way. And that’s why hiring Smith makes a lot of sense for the Bills.
And I will give Rex some more credit here as well…he did it the right way. He didn’t just thrust Kathryn Smith into an important role with a lot of pressure. Instead he started her out as the Special Teams Quality Control Coach. If there is a lower rung on the coaching ladder, I’ve never head of it. Smith will have to prove her worth in order to continue to progress…just like every one of her male compatriots.
However, there is one major drawback to this hiring…it’s Rex Ryan. That’s right, all that credit I just gave him doesn’t mean that much simply because of who he has shown himself to be in the NFL. While you can appreciate his defensive coaching ability, there is no denying that Rex is prone to the sideshow. He loves the spotlight. And there is more than enough reason to believe that Smith will be drug through that spotlight any chance Ryan gets.
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