Rex Ryan fired by Bills after two seasons

By Brandon Schlager 27 December 2016
Rex Ryan fired by Bills after two seasons

Rex Ryan has been fired by Buffalo Bills ending a disappointing two-year stint that failed to bring an end to the franchise's 17-season playoff drought.

The Bills announced the decision on Tuesday, with Ryan's brother Rob - the Bills' assistant coach - also dismissed.

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will serve as interim coach for Sunday's season finale at the New York Jets and he could be in the mix for the head-coaching job in 2017.

Ryan, 54, served as Buffalo's ninth coach since the team last made the playoffs in 1998.

Bills owner Terry Pegula told the team's official website: "I spoke with Rex and we mutually agreed that the time to part ways is now. 

"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."

His Day 1 proclamations that Buffalo would regularly lead the NFL in defense, his specialty, twice rang hollow. 

The Bills' unit regressed significantly in Ryan's first season and remains a middling disaster in 2016, exposed in the most appropriate of ways in Week 14 when Pittsburgh Steelers' Le'Veon Bell bullied his way to 236 rushing yards, the most ever against a Buffalo defense, and three touchdowns.

In eight seasons as an NFL head coach, Ryan's Jets and Bills teams have a combined 61-66 record. Only twice have they reached the playoffs, in 2009 and 2010, Ryan's first two seasons in New York.

This season, the Bills (7-8) have one win over an opponent with a winning record - the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots in Week 4.

A myriad of reasons led to Ryan's undoing, but chief among them was his inability to see eye-to-eye with general manager Doug Whaley and other Bills decision makers, according to various reports. 

Buffalo almost certainly will decline the option to pay struggling starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor $27.5 million next year, making him a free agent; Ryan was adamant on keeping him to lead the offense.

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Brandon Schlager

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