Written by: Alex McKinnon– Staff Writing Intern (@)
On Friday, it was announced by the Buffalo Bills that Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman would be fired following Week 2’s 37-31 loss to the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Roman, 44, has been an offensive assistant coach in some capacity since 1995 and was the Bills OC for only 18 games. It was reported that this was Rex Ryan’s decision. “This is my move, without question” Ryan told reporters on Friday. Running Backs coach Anthony Lynn will take over the duties of OC which Ryan commented:
“I know what kind of coach Anthony [Lynn] is, I know what kind of person he is,” Ryan said of Roman’s replacement on Friday. “And I think the direction he can take us, I think we need the change. I think we have a lot of talent on offense. I believe we’re going to do what we can to put the ball in our playmakers’ hands.”
Anthony Lynn will be the 5th Offensive Coordinator under Rex Ryan during his 6 years as a Head Coach. According to Vic Carucci of Buffalo News, Roman had told at least one person that he thought Ryan was a buffoon and viewed working for Rex as a poor choice for his career. Many noted that Roman should have been fired months ago so that Rex could find an appropriate replacement or hire from within his staff.
This move comes days after the Bills fell short of a comeback against the Jets in a 37-31 loss. It is interesting that Roman’s offense, while unorganized and often lacked explosiveness, was able to put up 31 points. The Bills defense, lead by Rex’s brother Rob Ryan, allowed for the Jets to 37 points in a game that saw three receivers catch at least 6 passes with over 90 yards receiving each while allowing the running back, Matt Forte, to gain 100 yards and punch in 3 touchdowns. Making the move to fire Greg Roman and keep Rob Ryan on doesn’t look great for Rex and is almost the definition of Nepotism.
By all accounts, the Bills have spent a ton of cash and draft picks on the defense and the offense lacks explosive options outside of a hobbled Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy by himself and a still developing Tyrod Taylor. Seems like an unfair advantage for Greg Roman, no?
Rachel Nichols proposed an interesting theory on Pardon The Interruption on Friday as to why this move was made. If the Bills were inclined to fire Rex Ryan during the season, Greg Roman would have been the likely candidate to step in as the interim Head Coach and it would come as no surprise of Rob was sent packing with Rex.
With Anthony Lynn stepping in, there is no longer a viable option for an interim head coach and firing the OC, DC and HC in one season would look awful for Buffalo. Did Rex deliberately wait until the season started to get rid of Greg Roman to protect himself along with his brother for at least the 2016 season? The Bills hands are now tied and have to commit to Rex for the rest of the season to avoid a catastrophic disaster within their coaching staff. It’s possible that Rex is able to put together a 9 win season this year and do this all over again next year. It almost appears as if Rex is smart enough to make these changes on his staff to continuously protect his job in New York and Buffalo.
Yes, Ryan is liked by fans and the media in Buffalo but outside of two AFC Championship runs with Mark Sanchez and the Jets in 2009 and 2010, Rex has often failed to get production out of his teams who have been pretty good ‘on paper’. If what Rachel Nichols is suggesting is true, you have to give credit to Rex Ryan for his ability to keep himself (and his brother) employed and you wonder how long he has left in Buffalo.