The firing of Greg Roman in the 2016 season was by far Rex Ryan’s biggest mis-step as head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
A recent article by Grant Cohn at SI.com listed his Mt. Rushmore of offensive coaches and there was some all-time greats like Bill Walsh and Andy Reid. He also listed some coaches who were on their way to joining this group and one name should be familiar to Buffalo Bills fans, which is Greg Roman.
He is currently the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, but for one season and two games he was the Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator under Rex Ryan. However, after a 37-31 loss to the New York Jets in Week 2 of the 2016 season, Ryan elected to fire Roman and this was probably the biggest mistake Ryan made as head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
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At the time, the Bills were struggling and there was an expectation that there would need to be changes. However, it wasn’t the offense that was the problem but on the defensive side of the ball as they were coming off a game that they gave up nearly 500 total yards to a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Jets offense.
This is probably why the move was so surprising because the Bills offense, with Tyrod Taylor under center, was actually playing at a high level. In 2015, the Bills offense ranked 13th in total yards (360.9 yards per game), 28th in passing yards (208.9 yards per game), first in rushing yards (152 yards per game) and 12th in points (23.7 points per game). The offense that Roman ran helped Tyrod Taylor reach the Pro Bowl that season.
Fast forward to the last game that Greg Roman was with the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 of the 2016 season and Tyrod Taylor threw for 297 yards. This is the second highest total in a game for a Buffalo Bills quarterback since then.
Fortunately for Greg Roman, he got another chance and as previously mentioned is the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. The same Ravens that just finished first in rushing yards per game (206 yards) and points (37.2 points) and second in total yards (407.6 yards per game). They also have the reigning MVP in Lamar Jackson.
At the time the firing of Greg Roman raised some eyebrows, especially with how much the defense was struggling, but the recent success for Roman in Baltimore makes the move by Rex Ryan look even worse.