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Rex Drops Axe on OC Greg Roman After Thursday Night Loss

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The Buffalo Bills disaster of a Thursday night came at a price for their coaching staff, but the axe fell in an interesting place.

Head coach Rex Ryan fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Friday one day after the team’s 37-31 loss to the New York Jets. For Ryan, the move was likely an attempt to pass the buck for Buffalo’s massive failures across the board. The team is now 0-2 for the season and 8-10 overall under Ryan, as they seemingly get buried further and further under unmet expectations. Ryan took a modicum of responsibility for those failures when he announced his decision, but his actions spoke louder.

“I’m accountable for everything that goes on,” the second-year Bills coach said. “And I’m also accountable for these decisions. This is my move, without question.

Roman wasn’t without his failures as Bills offensive coordinator, but the team did rank in the top half of the league in scoring offense and total offense in his first season as OC last year. They were 29th in total offense after two games, at 279.5 yards per game, after Thursday night’s game. But they did still manage to hang 31 points on a tough and talented Jets defense in that contest.

Furthermore, Roman has been integral in the development of Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who emerged as the team’s starter last year after spending the offseason immersing himself in the system. Now Taylor will start anew, with assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn taking over the reins of the offense. Lynn has previously held the running backs coach position with the Jaguars, Cowboys, Browns and Jets before following Ryan from New York to Buffalo, where he’ll get his first opportunity as an offensive coordinator.

But make no mistake, this move isn’t about a promotion, it’s all about Ryan doing whatever he can to save his own hide. Reports out of Buffalo indicate that the Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula wanted blood after Thursday’s embarrassing defeat at home and that ownership has been unhappy with the direction of the Buffalo offense since last year and felt the offense showed no signs of progress so far this season.

If they feel that way about the offense, imagine how they feel about the Ryan-led defense, which was shredded by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets up and down the field on Thursday night for nearly 500 yards. That supposedly stout defense now ranks 25th in the league after games against the Jets and Ravens of all teams. It doesn’t get any easier for Buffalo over the next two weeks as they welcome the Arizona Cardinals to Buffalo next Sunday and then travel to Foxboro to face the Patriots in Week 4.

Ryan and his new coordinator will have a little extra time to prepare for the Cardinals thanks to the schedule, but they still face an uphill battle. Ryan said this offseason he’d be “the first to go” if things didn’t improve in Buffalo. Friday’s decision runs into counter to that, but after losses to two beatable teams to start the season, if the Bills don’t pull off an upset in the next two and instead fall to 0-4, he may be next to go.

SATURDAY INJURY REPORT

With less than 24 hours remaining before kickoff, it’s becoming more and more clear who will and won’t play this week.

The Eagles announced on Saturday that tight end Zach Ertz and cornerback Leodis McKelvin will both miss Monday night’s game against the Bears. Ertz suffered a rib displacement under his shoulder and has not yet been cleared by doctors to practice or play with the potentially dangerous condition. McKelvin is nursing a hamstring injury suffered in last week’s game.

Speaking of hamstrings, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski continues to deal with an injury to his and is listed as questionable for the team’s matchup with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Gronk missed last week’s game in Arizona with the injury and the Pats still went into the desert and won, so this week’s easier matchup against the Dolphins could provide an opportunity to continue resting the start tight end to get him healthy for the long haul. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and cornerback Malcolm Butler are also questionable for New England with a knee and ankle injury respectively.

On the other side of that AFC East clash, Miami has listed several players as questionable, including defensive end Mario Williams (concussion), running back Arian Foster (hamstring) and tight end Jordan Cameron (thigh). Center Mike Pouncey will miss the game due to a hip injury.

A hip injury is also nagging at Denver Broncos star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s tilt with the Colts. On the other side of that big AFC battle, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to play despite being listed as questionable earlier in the week with his lingering shoulder injury. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will also play Sunday against the Rams despite the ankle injury he suffered last week in a win over Miami.

Notable absences this week will include Jacksonville running back Chris Ivory and cornerback Prince Amukamara, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, San Francisco 49ers tackle Anthony Davis and Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.


About Devon Jeffreys

Devon Jeffreys