Rex Ryan dismissed as Buffalo Bills head coach

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday December 27, 2016

Rex Ryan has been dismissed as head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

By all accounts, Ryan wasn’t going to return next season. After a mistake-filled loss to the Dolphins on Saturday, the Bills decided to make a change. Assistant head coach Rob Ryan has also been dismissed.

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will serve as interim head coach. Lynn is highly thought of in the Bills organization and will be a strong candidate for the full-time job, so the move Tuesday gives Lynn a game of head coaching experience.

Rex Ryan went 15-16 in two seasons, including 7-8 this year, after taking over a team that had gone 9-7 the year prior. He inherited a defense that finished 4th in the NFL in scoring D, but they've been in the middle of the league in Ryan's two seasons.

It was mistakes that highlighted Ryan’s tenure, along with unfortunate player injuries. The Bills led the NFL in penalties in 2015 and were eighth this year. On Saturday, Ryan failed to get a timeout he wanted before a Dolphins game-tying field goal, and the Bills had 10 men on the field for a big Dolphins run that set up the winning score in OT.

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen and it should never happen but it did happen," Ryan said Monday of the 10-man play. "And it cost us the game. That's how I'll look at it."

As a head coach, Ryan has been known for his boisterous personality, but also the inability the match his own expectations, the struggle to get past the Patriots and the inability to match his early success. He reached two straight AFC championship games in his first two years with the Jets from 2009-10, but followed that with four straight playoff-less seasons.

Coincidentally, Ryan’s dismissal means he won’t coach his final game with the Bills at the Jets next weekend. On the bright side, the Ryan brothers can probably attend Clemson's playoff game against Ohio State now.

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Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to