Losing always breeds change and with the Bills off to an 0-2 start to the season, they made a major one on Friday, firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman and promoting running backs coach Anthony Lynn to take his place.
Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to break the news.
Buffalo Bills firing OC Greg Roman, per league sources. Roman was NFL’s top paid OC.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 16, 2016
Roman came to the Bills along with Rex Ryan ahead of last season and helped lift an offense in the bottom third in total offense in 2014, to 13th overall. Under Roman’s tutelage the offense also lead the league in rushing in 2015 and has ranks in the top 10 in average yards per play since the start of last season.
Meanwhile the defense which was one of the league’s best in back to back season from 2014-2015 has fallen to the wayside, evident from the Bills 37-31 loss to the Jets last night where they were picked apart by the 33-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick for 374 passing yards.
Still, in Week 1 it was the offense that held the Bills back, amassing only 160 yards of total offense as the ground game that ran circles around the league last season was no where to be seen. The latter trend continued on Thursday as Buffalo ran for only 86 yards on the ground, finding most of their success through the air on two big hitting pass plays – an 84-yard TD to Marquise Goodwin and a 71-yard TD pass to Greg Salas. Also, in a pivotal stage of the game last night– down six with 10 minutes remaining – the Bills failed to convert a key first down from the Jets 50 on third-and-one as EJ Manuel came up short on a QB-sneak. Then after trying to draw the Jets offsides Buffalo burned a timeout and drew up a straight ahead run for LeSean McCoy, which was also stopped short on fourth-and-one.
That sluggish start to the season could very well be what led to Roman’s demise, but with him out of the picture the pressure is on under new OC Anthony Lynn to turn the offense into a well oiled machine.
Lynn broke into the NFL in 2000 as a special teams coach with the Denver Broncos then bounced around between Cleveland, Dallas and Jacksonville before teaming up with Rex Ryan in 2009 as the Jets running back coach. His loyalty brought him from the Big Apple to Buffalo when Ryan made the jump from Jets head coach to Bills head coach.
If the move leads to a more efficient offense for the Bills, Ryan will look like a genius. However, if it fails miserably or no real progress is seen, Roman will be nothing more than a scapegoat and this whole thing could blow up in Ryan’s face.
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