I’ll ask the question everyone in Western New York wants to know.
Will Rex Ryan remain the Bills head coach heading into the 2017 season?
Although the 12th Man choir emphatically says “no”, I say it’s hard to tell based on the complexity of a testy situation at One Bills Drive.
“Here’s what we all have in common, everybody in here: Nobody knows what my future is,” Ryan said earlier this week. “I just prepare the team to the best of my ability and that’s what I’m going to do. … How much chance [at the playoffs] we got left, I don’t know, but we still got somewhat of a chance — a puncher’s chance, I believe. So we’re going to take our swings.”
Ryan’s history leaves much to be desired, however, especially with his inability to minimize the conflict between his defensive-prowess and team-coaching philosophy.
Ryan’s tenure with the Jets was filled with said conflict after appearing in back-to-back AFC Championships during his first two coaching seasons. The coach struggled to maintain composure with both his players and himself, particularly after he made numerous Super Bowl victory predictions.
Future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson admitted Ryan’s bold personality had an adverse affect on the Jets during the 2011 season in which the team missed the postseason
Ryan’s remaining time in New York..er…New Jersey was, frankly, brutal for fans and the long time coach himself.
In 2014, his Jets lost eight consecutive contests after winning their season opener. The defense appeared mentally sluggish throughout the season, combining with a Geno Smith/Mike Vick QB nightmare to give Ryan just four wins his final season in New York.
Ryan has struggled specifically to deal with numerous primadonnas on defense during his head coaching career.
While in Buffalo, the coach has arguably lost two stars mid-season in consecutive campaigns. Ex-Bill Mario Williams appeared to give up mid-season in 2015 as he disagreed with the play calling. Tackle Marcell Dareus is looking like Williams each Sunday (or Monday and Thursday) this season.
Buffalo’s “D” is ranked near the bottom in run defense despite a respectful performance against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, allowing 124.4 YPG (27th in NFL).
We should still blame the problems on Tyrod Taylor and the offense, right?
You know, the offense that’s missed receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods numerous games combined.
The offense that, due to inconsistency upfront as well as with the receiving corps, has turned into a one-man band with tailback LeSean McCoy.
Let’s blame the offense, though.
McCoy had an interesting take earlier this week during a press conference.
“There [are] so many things that he gets blamed for that [are] out of his control,” McCoy said. “I think as players, we need to step up as men and be accountable, be mature. There [are] certain things that happen during the course of games that he’s not out there playing.
“Don’t get me wrong. I think there’s some times where there may be calls brought in on offense or defense, a bad play [called] or just a bad play. … As players, we need to be accountable and make sure this is our job, this is what we get paid to do. We should always come out here and give 100 percent effort and preparation.”
Asked how fair it would be to blame Ryan for players’ lack of accountability, McCoy said, “It’s not fair at all.”
How has general manager Doug Whaley avoided the hot seat?
A general manager’s role is to ensure his team can bolster its personal within the salary cap allowance. The GM is also an instrumental part of the draft process.
Receiver Sammy Watkins underwent foot surgery just weeks before the NFL Draft. Numerous professional athletes have endured longer rehab stints because of foot complications.
Watkins has clearly walked a similar path this season. I have to ask Whaley why he wouldn’t draft a receiver with Buffalo’s top pick, knowing the Bills lacked receiving depth behind Watkins and Woods.
Multiple reports have Tom Coughlin becoming the Bills next coach in 2017. I’ll admit I believe there’s pros as cons to a potential Coughlin hire, but I’ll keep to myself until another article…