Rex Ryan fired as Buffalo Bills miss playoffs for 17th successive season

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

Rex Ryan has paid the penalty after Buffalo’s NFL playoff drought extended to 17 seasons, with the Bills making the decision to fire their head coach on Tuesday.

“I spoke with Rex earlier today and we mutually agreed that the time to part ways is now,” said the Bills owner Terry Pegula. “These decisions are never easy. I want to take this opportunity to thank Rex for all his efforts and wish him all the best moving forward.”

“[Co-owner Kim Pegula] 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. Anthony Lynn will serve as our interim head coach to lead us through the Jets game.”

Ryan was hired by the Bills in January 2015, and posted a 15-16 record with the team. He had previously been head coach of the New York Jets, who he led to two AFC Championship games before going on to post four non-winning seasons in a row. The move was as a surprise to some. Ryan consistently produced excellent defense at the Jets but was let down by mediocre quarterbacks. He found much the same situation at the Bills, who had one of the best defenses in the league when he joined but a middling quarterback in EJ Manuel. Although the current starting quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, has been a steady hand, the Bills have the second-lowest passing yards per game in the league. Ryan did have success in the running game – as he did with the Jets – and the Bills have the NFL’s best rushing offense. ESPN reported that Manuel is set to start ahead of Taylor for the Bills’ final game of the season.

Ryan’s final game in charge was a 34-31 overtime defeat to their divisional rival, the Miami Dolphins, a loss that contained a number of questionable coaching decisions. There were only 10 men on the field when Jay Ajayi’s run set up the game winning field goal, while Ryan elected to punt with four minutes left and the Bills on their own 41-yard line. ESPN also reported that Ryan had lost the support of players in the past month, particularly on defense. “There were too many cooks in the kitchen. Guys were pissed,” one player told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. “He lost the defense.”

Ryan had said in the past that the Bills would be his final coaching job, and his brash, outgoing persona would appear to be a perfect fit for a role as a television analyst.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 27th December 2016 17.39 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

 

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