Is Rex Ryan’s job as head coach of the Buffalo Bills in jeopardy? If it wasn’t discussed, it should be now.
Instead of preparing for a playoff run – as many predicted in the preseason – the Bills clinched another non-playoff season and the 14th non-winning season since 2000.
Who better to lead the Bills back toward mediocrity — and it wasn’t a long trip — than a head coach who is steeped in mediocrity?
How many current coaches in the NFL have a 5-year string of not making the playoffs and not finishing with an above-.500 record? I checked, just one, Jeff Fisher of the Rams.
To be fair, when Fisher took the job three years ago, the team was a reclamation project in need of a complete overhaul.
By contrast, Ryan inherited a team that nearly made the playoffs last year, and was likely just a puzzle piece away from serous title contention.
That missing piece was not filled by Rex Ryan’s hiring in January.
Ryan’s predecessor, Doug Marrone, surprisingly opted out of his contract from a team that was clearly on the rise. Marrone overvalued his worth on the open market, and was fortunate to get an assistant coaching position with the Jaguars.
Say what you will about Marrone, but the Bills performed at or above expectations last year. An offensive coach, Marrone’s defenses were among the best in the NFL the past two seasons finishing with over 100 combined sacks during that time.
Over the last four games last year, the Bills’ defense stifled all-pro quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady winning two of those three games.
A year later, the Bills’ defense – with much of the same personnel – is putrid. Kirk Cousins is no Aaron Rodgers, but he did a fair imitation throwing for over 300 yards and four scores in a 35-25 victory.
The Bills were unprepared, unmotivated, and remain the most undisciplined team in the NFL. Heading into week 14, the Bills were on record pace to commit the most penalties in a season.
After finishing number one in the NFL in sacks a year ago, the Bills were ranked 30th out of 32 teams with only 19 in 13 games.
What happened? Poor coaching.
For all of the confidence he imbues within his players, the bold predictions, and the plentiful quotes that regularly fill a reporter’s notebook, Ryan has proven one thing:
He’s all talk, no results.