The Buffalo Bills fired Rex Ryan on Tuesday, just 31 games into his tenure. Ryan went 15-16 in Buffalo, including 1-7 this season against teams that currently have a winning record. Ryan is 61-66 in his career and hasn’t had a winning season since 2010, when he went 11-5 with the Jets.
Mark Kelso, however, didn’t think Ryan should have been fired.
“Obviously there’s some things that need to be fixed, but (it’s) a difficult situation, and certainly when it happens before the end of the season – I’m not sure what their thinking is there,” the former Bills safety and current Bills radio analyst told Jody McDonald, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. ‘I get frustrated, too, because I do think coaches need more than two years to get everything in place that they feel they need to be successful. But ultimately, it’s not my decision.”
Ryan arrived in Buffalo in 2015, inheriting a team went 9-7 the previous season. He was charged with turning 9-7 into 10-6 or better and leading the Bills to their first place appearance since 1999. Instead, he went 8-8 in his first season and 7-8 in his second. The Bills’ 17-15 mark in 2013-14 was their first time recording back-to-back non-losing seasons since 1999-2000.
Mediocrity, however, wouldn’t be tolerated. The streaky Bills started 0-2, won four straight, lost three straight, won two straight and have now lost three of four.
Still, Kelso believes the Bills pulled the plug too early.
“I think it’s difficult when you have to reboot the whole system and start over, whether you’re starting over with terminology or just personalities and trying to put together a collection of guys that become a team,” Kelso said. “It takes awhile for that synergy to happen. That’s why you think that they’d do something with somebody in house, and Anthony Lynn certainly has done a good job with the offense when he took over earlier in the year. So they’ll just have to see who those things unfold.
“But it’s unfortunate because I do think there were a lot of good things about this staff,” Kelso continued. “Again, (there were) a few things that needed tweaked. But now you’re going to throw the whole thing out and try to start over again.”