The Buffalo Bills are heading into the final week of the regular season with no chance of making the playoffs, but there’s still plenty to play for. Rex Ryan was fired on Tuesday, giving way to Anthony Lynn as the interim head coach. It’ll be a one-game audition for Lynn, who has his eyes set on a head coaching gig in 2017, whether it’s with the Bills or elsewhere.
He just won’t be coaching with his best quarterback on the field, and it sounds like that wasn’t his decision. Lynn said on Wednesday during his first press conference that EJ Manuel will get the start at quarterback.
Tyrod Taylor has been benched in what’s been called a “business decision,” allowing the Bills to avoid the possibility of him getting hurt. If he were to get injured, it would automatically activate his contract option of more than $30 million, assuming he couldn’t pass a physical in March.
Anthony Lynn announces EJ Manuel will start at QB.
Lynn said that was “our decision” initially, but later in his press conference, he also said he “wasn’t in the room” when it was determined that Manuel would start. So which is it? Based on the way Lynn reacted, firing back at reporters who were hitting him with tough questions, it seems as though GM Doug Whaley and the higher-ups made that call.
#Bills interim HC Anthony Lynn on Tyrod not starting: I wasn't in on that room when that decision was made.
It’s reasonable to understand why the Bills would prefer to not risk Taylor getting injured. At the same time, it’s also unfair to have Lynn coach his first game without the team’s best quarterback out there. That’s setting him up to fail and will only make him look worse in his head coaching debut.
For the most part, Lynn handled his first presser as a head coach fairly well, but Whaley and owner Terry Pegula did him no favors by hanging him out to dry with the team’s quarterback situation. He was forced to dance around questions about Taylor’s benching, which only makes the entire organization look bad.