After firing Rex Ryan on Tuesday, don’t expect a wide-ranging search by the Buffalo Bills for a new head coach.
With a 15-16 record over nearly two full seasons, Rex Ryan was not going to last as Buffalo Bills’ head coach. He was fired on Tuesday, with offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn taking over as interim head coach for Sunday’s regular season finale against the New York Jets.
Lynn is likely to be a candidate for head coaching jobs again after the season, and with Bills’ general manager Doug Whaley remaining in place to lead a coaching search Lynn may be first in line for the job. Now, there’s some confirmation of that intention within the Bills’ organization.
According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, there is “every indication” the Bills have already settled on promoting Lynn to head coach for 2017. Things can and do change, but any bigger-name candidate (Tom Coughlin, Josh McDaniels, etc.) would probably want some control over personnel and thus be a threat to Whaley’s control over the roster.
Whaley and Ryan were rumored to differ in some key areas, particularly in regard to keeping quarterback Tyrod Taylor in place as the starter this season. But Whaley is hardly immune from criticism. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News recently wrote that the Bills have just 22 of their own draft picks on the active roster, and 31 still in the organization. Both of those numbers are last in the league, which obviously points to drafting poorly and Whaley is now set to hire his third head coach since becoming general manager in 2013.
Lynn is a solid head coaching candidate, and there are occasions where going with an internal candidate without a significant search eventually works (see Jason Garrett-Dallas Cowboys). But Whaley quickly being appointed to lead the search for a new head coach automatically limits how it will be done, and the Bills seem sure to remain stuck in neutral until a new general manager is in place.