Rex Ryan has been fretting and hand-wringing over his potential firing for the last few weeks. Publicly, he said the possibility did not matter. Privately for him, it was excruciating.
Tuesday morning, with his team 7-8 and out of the playoffs, in a no-win situation coaching his last game on Sunday at the Jets, where he had last been fired, Ryan took control in the only way he viewed he could take control.
His inability to improve the Buffalo defense, in fact ruining it, is particularly curious. As this season sped forward, it was gashed and humiliated, the players were often in wrong places at wrong times. Too often they were simply not making plays. The disconnect between the coaching and the player performance was stunning. I know Rex Ryan did not forget how to coach defense. But he clearly did not coach it well this year and his players clearly did not respond.
His strength became one of his most glaring weaknesses.
This was a primary factor why Pegula obliged.
Now, what to do with Taylor?
I think the Bills make a very clear decision here. With the proper offensive coaching, with an off-season full of work and mental repetition, with a re-make of his deeply cautious nature and simply a little more overall growth, the Bills are very comfortable moving forward with Taylor.
With a re-worked contract, for sure.
For the current one paying $30 million? No way. They would send him down Ryan’s path before that happens, with an even swifter, stronger boot.
Those are talks that will come with a decision made by March. For now, the Bills are just trying to get through Sunday at the Jets. With no Rex. He asked. He was shown the door.
They didn’t expect it. But they were happy to oblige. It was over. The firing was coming. Rex just took control in his own way –- and the Bills said walk, with your brother, too.