MOBILE, Ala. -- Let's make it clear from the start that Bart Scott isn't neutral when it comes to Rex Ryan.
They're close friends, bonded by a loyalty that dates back to when Ryan was his defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens and continued when Ryan gave Scott a $48-million contract to follow him to the New York Jets.
So it isn't exactly a shock that Scott thinks the Buffalo Bills gave Ryan a raw deal when they fired him only two years into a five-year contract. He also believes that Bills General Manager Doug Whaley should not have been allowed to remain in his job while Ryan took the fall for missing the playoffs for the second year in a row to extend the franchise's playoff drought to 17 seasons.
"I feel like Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan should have been joined at the hip," said Scott, an NFL studio analyst for CBS who has been at the Senior Bowl this week as part of Morgan Stanley's seminars for the players about money management. "How can he survive and Rex doesn't survive? (Whaley) made those decisions. You talk about the bad contract for Tyrod Taylor with the $30-million pill in it. He didn't even have to give Tyrod Taylor an extension; he was still under contract. So those are all decisions that he made. You talk about trading everything that you traded for Sammy Watkins. Who made that decision? Doug Whaley.
"At some point, you run out of people to blame. Yeah, I love Rex, but I think anybody can see this argument and (not) look at it a different way."
Scott couldn't believe what he heard from Whaley's Jan. 2 news conference, during which he said he had no role in the firing of Ryan and gave other head-scratching answers throughout.
"I just thought I was watching BET Comedy View," Scott said. "Look, you can talk to me, but don't talk to me like I'm stupid."
Speaking of which, Scott also took exception to Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus slamming Ryan for his scheme being too complicated.
"You can't put the playbook in crayon," Scott said. "For $100 million, you can't figure out that 'I've got to slant left or slant right.' It's not like it's complex for a defensive lineman. How complex can it be for a defensive lineman? He doesn't have any coverage responsibilities, he doesn't have any checks. All he has to do is change his front and slide. I think that's a copout, because just (three) years earlier, nobody complained about the Mike Pettine scheme when they had all the sacks, nobody complained about dropping back into coverage. Who do you think taught Pettine the scheme? Rex.
"If you can't learn a system that you've learned twice from two different people, then I have to challenge your intelligence, your Wonderlic test."
Scott insisted the Bills were going in the "right direction" under Ryan and he had far too many injuries to key players to get over the hump of mediocrity.
"You talk about all the good things that happened, and I think he deserved at least another year," he said. "And going forward, how can you say that you're going on your third coach in four years, going from Chan Gailey to (Doug) Marrone to Rex to now? What message are you sending to the rest of the NFL? If you show that you can't have some type of continuity and consistency, how can you attract the best and brightest?
"So if this thing doesn't work now, I think you're going to get labeled as one of those organizations that aren't stable, so you're not going to get the great talent. You're always going to have to reach to try and find a head coach. So they have to figure it out."