Rex Ryan Fired
Buffalo Bills have fired head coach Rex Ryan after less than two full seasons. Last year, once Ryan took over, the Bills finished the season at 8 and 8. 2016 is the Bills’ first full season under coach Ryan. So far they have won only 7 games and lost 8.
This firing has been brewing for quite some time. Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula previously hinted that they wanted a new head coach. Lately, team General Manager, Doug Whaley, has shown little support for coach Ryan.
The Christmas eve overtime loss to the Dolphins may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. In a major snafu, the Bills had just 10 defensive players on the field when Jay Ajayi ran 57 yards. That play set up the winning field goal.
presidential Politics Hurt Bills Locker Room
Rex Ryan was criticized for his decision to introduce Republican candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in New York. His public support for Trump resulted in disharmony in the Bills management offices and locker room. Many of the Bills staffers and players, who did not support Trump, were offended.
The Bills have had their share of racial issues and racial tension. In 2015, LeSean McCoy stated that Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly factored players’ race into roster decisions. Earlier this year, Kaela Carpenter, the wife of Bills kicker Dan Carpenter refused to apologize for her racist Twitter post. She implied that Richard Sherman was an “animal.”
During his controversial introduction of Trump, Coach Rex Ryan said, “There’s so many things I admire about Mr. Trump, but one thing I really admire about him is—you know what—he’ll say what’s on his mind,” Ryan added. “And so many times, you’ll see people, a lot of people, want to say the same thing. But there’s a big difference: They don’t have the courage to say it. They all think it, but they don’t have the courage to say it. And Donald Trump certainly has the courage to say it.”
During the presidential election most white players supported Trump. Conversely, nearly all Black players opposed him. Several Bills players, who happen to be Black, expressed disappointment and were upset that their coach was supporting Trump. Some no longer viewed Ryan as open-minded.
One White player, in particular, Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito, insists that Trump’s winning message has resonated with NFL players like him. In 2014, Incognito was involved in an infamous scandal for a bullying and using racist and homophobic slurs. During the campaign he tweeted, “On my way to the @realDonaldTrump rally. Let’s make America great again!!!”
Anthony Lynn Named Interim Coach
Coach Anthony Lynn has been named interim head coach. Lynn, who became Offensive coordinator in Week 3 of the season, could be considered for the Bills head coaching position, going forward.
The Bills also fired Rex’s brother Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.