Rex Ryan’s first touchdown as Buffalo Bills coach came from 3,000 yards in the sky.
Ryan descended more than 9,000 feet Friday in a tandem skydive with members of the United States Army Golden Knights parachute team at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
“That was awesome,” Ryan said moments after landing. “I’m ready to go again.”
Known for his “ground and pound” football, Ryan readily accepted an invitation to take to the air with the Golden Knights. The group frequently performs at Bills’ games at the annual Thunder of Niagara Airshow.
“I like living,” Ryan said. “I just like doing stuff like this, a little thrill seeking. It beats going to a state park, I think.”
After free falling for about a minute at a speed approaching 300 mph, according to U.S. Army officials, Ryan landed safely on a grass field, though he did slip upon hitting the ground.
At a rare loss for words, Ryan had difficulty describing the experience.
“You guys need to do it,” he said. “Unless you do it, I don’t think people can do it justice on how to describe it.”
Ryan, however, discouraged his Bills players from following his lead.
“I don’t have to play,” he said. “So, yeah, not recommended for the players. But for a coach, go for it.”
After landing, Ryan greeted one of his former players, New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, who rode along on an F-16 fighter jet with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
Ryan was hired by the Bills in January after his dismissal following six seasons with the Jets.
Ryan declined to comment on offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who has been put on paid administrative leave after he was arrested last weekend on a misdemeanor battery charge in Florida.
“I’m not going to add anything to what we’ve already released as a team,” Ryan said. “A lot of the process is still going on.”