Bills fire Ryan ahead of season’s last game
Decision comes after Miami loss
orchard park, n.y.» Rex Ryan’s inability to back up his boasts of building a bully — particularly on defense — in Buffalo led to the Bills firing their high-profile coach one game short of completing his second full season.
Terry Pegula, who made Ryan’s hiring his first big splash as owner, was the person who informed Ryan of his dismissal Tuesday. The decision came three days after a 34-31 overtime loss to Miami which eliminated Buffalo (7-8) from contention, and extended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to 17 years.
“We mutually agreed that that the time to part ways is now,” Pegula said in a statement released by the team. “These decisions are never easy.”
Pegula then noted his wife in saying: “Kim and I and our entire Bills organization share in the same disappointment and frustration as our fans, but we remain committed to our goal of bringing a championship to western New York.”
Ryan had three years remaining on his contract.
General manager Doug Whaley’s job appears secure after being put in charge of the Bills coaching search, the team’s third in four years. Buffalo is also moving on to its eighth coach since the playoff drought began during Wade Phillips’ final year as coach in 2000.
Ryan replaced Doug Marrone, who opted out of his contract following a 9-7 finish in 2014, and three months after the Pegulas purchased the Bills from the estate of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson.
Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will coach the Bills in their season finale at the New York Jets (4-11) on Sunday. Lynn is also considered a candidate to replace Ryan permanently because of his familiarity with an offense that is closing in on leading the NFL in rushing for a second straight season.
Lynn, a longtime Ryan assistant, was promoted to coordinator in September, when Ryan fired Greg Roman after an 0-2 start.
The 54-year-old Ryan appeared emotionally drained during a 20-minute news conference on Monday.
He called the loss to Miami his most painful as a Bills coach, and the secondmost painful in his 20 NFL seasons as a coach or assistant.