It’s official: The Buffalo Bills are in a bit of a panic to start the 2016 season.
With the decision to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Friday afternoon, the 0-2 Bills will now have a new direction on the offensive side of the ball with Anthony Lynn as the man that will run the ship.
Is it a fair move?
At first glance, some will look at the firing as a just one, due to the offense only scoring seven points against Baltimore, and only generating two meaningful touchdowns against the Jets — both of which came on large chunk plays that went 84 and 71 yards respectively.
Some will argue that Greg Roman needed to go.
I am not one of those people.
In 2015, Roman took a quarterback that had never started a meaningful regular season game before in his career to such a high level, that the Bills weren’t willing to go into the next season without that player signed to a long-term extension.
The offensive line went from putrid in 2014, to at times, downright dominant in the rushing game. Even in 2016, the offensive line has played incredibly well in the first two games, and the Bills have been dealing with a hampered top wide receiver on the outside.
For the Bills lack of offensive prowess in 2016, Tyrod Taylor should earn quite a bit of the criticism for that. There were many times — five by my count — that he missed a wide open big play down the field against the Ravens. He hit the two deep passes against the Ravens, but there were players running open down the middle of the field that he just flat missed, again.
Roman schemed the players to get open in the passing attack, that’s on Taylor to identify and hit the players to keep the ball moving down the field.
Now, perhaps a reason for his firing, is the fact that the Bills rushing attack hasn’t gotten off the ground yet in 2016. It was one of the best in the league in 2015 in both volume and yards per carry, but the Bills have been slow to, well, get it off the ground this season.
For as good as the pass blocking has been, the holes just haven’t been there for the running game to get going with LeSean McCoy — and to the old school mentality of Rex Ryan, that must have been a big reason for the discord.
Rex wants what he wants, and he wants his team to be a dominant run-oriented offense — a blast from the past… much like how he’s calling his defenses, too. He is doubling down on what he thinks is best for the offense, and putting a former running backs coach in charge of getting the run game going.
At 0-2, the air of desperation is obvious.
The Bills need to get it turned around, and get it turned around quickly. In Rex Ryan’s mind, it’s not the defense -- he’s been betting on himself all offseason that he’ll be able to turn that around. He’s certainly not going to fire himself, and the Bills weren’t going to fire him just two games in.
Likely, in his mind, with the offensive coordinator now being in lockstep a bit more with how he feels that side of the ball should be run, he thinks the offense can turn it around.
Perhaps a tad concerning, Ryan is slowly sending away any discerning opinion within his coaching staff. To a certain degree, that’s a good thing to have a common core vision, but debate amongst coaches is a good thing, because it forces you to think about things with a different perspective.
That's no longer an obstacle. No, instead, he’s hiring another one of “his guys” into a more prominent role.
It’s Rex’s way or the highway. Just like on the defensive side of the ball, he’s once again betting on himself.
After a decision as stark and controversial as this one, he better hope he’s right.
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