The Buffalo Bills were planning to fire Rex Ryan at the end of the 2016 season, but the head coach accelerated the process by requesting a private conversation with team owner Terry Pegula. And in that meeting, Ryan reportedly sealed his fate by being loyal to his starting quarterback.
Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB provided some behind-the-scenes information about Ryan’s final days with the Bills. In his meeting with Pegula, Ryan learned that the team wanted to bench Tyrod Taylor for Week 17 rather than risking the quarterback’s contract becoming fully guaranteed in the event of an injury. That didn’t sit well with Ryan, who is said to have made a promise to Taylor.
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Both were obvious signs that the Bills were not committed to Taylor — or to Ryan, who had handpicked Taylor to be his quarterback. So Ryan, who for a few weeks had been hearing reports of his impending firing, asked to speak to Pegula one-on-one. Ryan had made a promise to Taylor, telling him that he’d be the Bills starting quarterback as long as Ryan was the coach. Ryan didn’t want to break his word, and he was worried how the team would respond. If you are already planning on firing me next Monday, Ryan told Pegula, then you might as well fire me now.
So Pegula did.
Taylor was coming off one of his best games of the season against the New York Jets, and we later learned he was playing through a significant injury. With Ryan’s days clearly numbered, the coach saw no reason to go back on his word just to please his former bosses.
Ryan may have deserved to lose his job, but the comments Bills general manager Doug Whaley made this week illustrate how deep the issues run within the organization. Rex has always been known as a players’ coach, so the story about his dismissal — which came slightly ahead of schedule — makes a lot of sense.
It doesn’t sound as if Rex Ryan’s defense was all that popular with the players that he relied upon to implement it.
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus criticized Ryan’s defense was too much for some players to handle, and that Ryan spent too much time creating matchups rather than letting his team play to their strengths.
“I feel like we should’ve been just more aggressive on defense … because that’s the kind of players that we have,” Dareus told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “We want to put our foot on the pedal and keep it down knowing what we’re doing, and being strategic on what we’re doing. Not trying to matchup with this team, or that team. We want to have our identity (knowing) this is who we are, and what we’re going to do.
“It was just too much detail for a lot of guys, and I feel like for a lot of guys it was too much going on for them to check here and check there, if this happens and that happens. Then nine times out of ten, a team will throw something out there that we weren’t prepared for, and then the adjustment to it, we had to get used to and try to make it happen and make plays.”
There were reports that indicated Ryan had lost the ear of his defense. This seems to indicate that there may have been some truth to that.
Rex Ryan brought in his twin brother Rob to help out with the Buffalo Bills’ defense in 2016, and it turns out that may not have been a wise move.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports that players on the defensive side of the ball were no longer listening to the Ryan brothers prior to their dismissal on Tuesday.
That’s not a surprise, as the Bills rank 19th in the NFL in overall team defense. They have allowed a whopping 133.5 yards rushing per game, which is fifth-worst in the league. So much for Rex and Ryan being defensive geniuses.
Ryan’s own players questioned his defensive scheme publicly a year ago, and the coach admitted he was bothered by it. He obviously thought bringing in Rob might help. From the sound of it, Rob’s presence only made things worse.
The Buffalo Bills announced on Tuesday that head coach Rex Ryan has been fired.
Ryan’s twin brother, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, has also been let go. Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will serve as the team’s interim head coach in Week 17.
It became clear a few weeks ago that Ryan was not going to be back for a third season with the Bills, though the belief was that owners Terry and Kim Pegula wanted to wait until the year concluded to fire him. Apparently they had seen enough.
It’s possible that Ryan’s latest embarrassing coaching blunder could have expedited the decision.
Ryan finishes his Bills career with a record of 15-16. He is now 61-66 in his career as an NFL head coach, and it is unlikely that he will get another head coaching job unless he first spends time as a defensive coordinator somewhere.
Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan had a remarkably bad overtime period on Saturday, and he had to own up to it two days later.
Among the mistakes made during overtime was the fact that, on a vital 57-yard run by Miami running back Jay Ajayi that set up the winning field goal, Buffalo only had ten defenders on the field.
On Monday, Ryan took full responsibility for that mistake while reflecting on the defeat.
“Should have had 11 on the field,” Ryan said, via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk. “One hundred percent of what happens on the field is my responsibility.”
As for the loss, which officially eliminated Buffalo from playoff contention, Ryan categorized it as one of the most difficult of his career.
“That’s about as painful of a loss as I can remember,” Ryan said. “It’s a loss you lose sleep over.”
That’s not the only reason Ryan is losing sleep. Between that and some other mistakes in overtime, he’s probably going to lose his job in a week.
The Buffalo Bills were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday with the team’s defense, the side of the ball Rex Ryan made his name coaching, giving up 34 points in an overtime defeat.
With Ryan’s job security looking increasingly nonexistent, the coach simply stood by his reputation as a defensive coach after the game.
“Whatever happens, happens, but I’ll stand by my reputation,” Ryan said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.
The Bills’ defense had the look of a disorganized unit on Saturday. Miami running back Jay Ajayi ran for over 200 yards, the third time the Bills have allowed that many rushing yards this season. In addition, on the Dolphins’ game-winning field goal, the Bills had just ten players on the field. All of that is even harder to swallow when the offense more than did its job, setting a franchise record with 589 total yards.
Overall, Ryan had a day to forget. Along with the mediocrity that has plagued the team all season, it’s going to cost him his job.
Rex Ryan is struggling so much as the Buffalo Bills’ head coach that he can’t even ice a kicker properly.
During the Bills’ 34-31 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Saturday, Rex failed to ice the kicker even though he wanted to.
Miami drove into field goal range after the Bills had scored a touchdown to take a 31-28 lead. Andrew Franks lined up for a 55-yard field goal attempt with 10 seconds left, and Ryan tried to ice him, but he called timeout too late.
After Franks’ field goal cleared the uprights, Ryan complained that he wanted a timeout.
Some say Bills DB Corey White was trying to call timeout long before Rex:
Even if he was, you have to be in a ref’s face to get the timeout call. And whatever White was doing still doesn’t excuse Ryan waiting too long before calling it.
A vote of confidence may be a sign that the other shoe is about to drop for many people in sports, but Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan can’t even get that.
Bills general manager Doug Whaley refused to offer Ryan his backing when speaking with WGR 550.
“Let’s put it this way: None of us know our future,” Whaley said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN. “Look where we are. We owe it to our fans and our owners to keep it focused on Miami, because we’re still in this.”
Insider information indicates that Ryan is going to get fired. Supposedly, he knows that. So, too, does Whaley. His comments are just another indicator of that.
For the second consecutive week, Rex Ryan had to answer questions about his job security immediately after a Bills game.
This Sunday, Ryan was left to refute a report that stated that he was getting fired at season’s end – and already knew it.
Similar reports circulated last week, and at that time, he dodged the questions about them. This isn’t a refusal to comment, though. It’s a flat denial, and you have to wonder what Ryan has been told in private. Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and this is the second straight week we’ve heard that Ryan’s job is pretty much a lost cause.
Rex Ryan is reportedly a dead man walking in Buffalo, and the head coach knows it.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Ryan is likely going to be fired after the final two games of the regular season. Schefter adds that Ryan is well aware of what the future holds, which has made things “awkward” around the organization.
While it appears there is no way Ryan can save his job, general manager Doug Whaley is expected to be given a chance to hire his third head coach after Ryan and former Bills coach Doug Marrone did not pan out. Whaley was named GM in 2013 and signed a contract extension at the start of the year.
The Bills were in decent shape in the AFC at 6-5 two weeks ago, but they put together back-to-back uninspiring performances against the Raiders and Steelers to fall to 6-7. The loss to Oakland was particularly ugly, as Buffalo led 24-9 in the third quarter and ended up losing 38-24. Against Pittsburgh, the Bills allowed Le’Veon Bell to rack up over 300 yards from scrimmage and score three touchdowns.
Ryan recently addressed the reports about his job being in jeopardy. You can read what he said here.
While two seasons in a new place does not seem like very long to prove yourself, it sounds like the Bills have seen enough from Rex.