Rex and Rob Ryan were both fired on Tuesday. Rex was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills and Rob, his twin brother was the defensive coordinator. The Bills let them go after falling to 7-8 and assuring themselves a 17th straight season without making the playoffs. They lost to the Miami Dolphins on Saturday in overtime 34-31 in a game that didn’t have a lot of defense. Firing the defensive coordinator afterward may have made a little bit of sense. But firing the head coach in only his second season and, even more curious, benching the starting quarterback after he led them to a late game touchdown to take a lead with just over 1:00 to go seems a bit silly. But then again, there is a reason your franchise hasn’t made the playoffs in forever.
The Bills are going to start E. J. Manuel at quarterback in the season finale against the New York Jets. Manuel is not some rookie draft pick that the team needs to take a look at. He was the starter before being beaten out by Tyrod Taylor last season. With Taylor as the starter, the team has at least been competitive. When you are 7-8,let’s be honest, you are a play or two away from being a playoff team. Had either of the Miami games broken Buffalo’s way, they would be in contention going into this week’s game. Had both gone the Bills’ way, they would be where Miami is right now, making preparations for the post-season. Both games could easily have gone the other way. If anyone watched the game last week and thought “if only the Bills had a better quarterback” that person doesn’t know football.
While it is difficult to make the call on whether a coach like Ryan needs a little more time or just doesn’t have it. After leading the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, he then followed them up with four straight losing records. So when he got the bills job, many were suspect that he was more the coach of the last four years rather than the first two.
But the Bills have been a train wreck for 15 years before Ryan took over. So to expect him to come in and punt the New England Patriots from their spot atop the AFC East right away is ludicrous. But if anyone has watched Taylor and the Bills the last two seasons and thinks they haven’t gotten any better, they had better go back and watch the Bills when Manuel was starting.
Ryen should have gotten one more year at least. To keep starting over when you are a play or two away from being a playoff team is just not smart. Gus Bradley was given four years in Jacksonville. He was 14-48 before they finally gave up on him. While some would call it foolhardy to wait that long, it’s better than hiring and firing coaches every two seasons. And why give up on what you have to go back to something that already failed? Decisions like this are why you haven’t seen the postseason in 17 years.