In January, a report came out saying Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley needed to make the playoffs in the coach's second year to keep their jobs. This week at The MMQB, Ryan addressed the rumor directly, saying it doesn't make sense. I agree.
“The media looks at it [like], 'Well, we have to win this year,'” Rex said. “Or what? Oh, I am going to be fired? I don’t think so. I’m not going to worry about it, because we are going to win anyway. But it’s like, that is an ultimatum. No.”
As Bills fans know, there are a lot of ways to miss the playoffs, and plenty of them can be completely unrelated to coaching. A key injury or series of injuries on offense to Tyrod Taylor and company could doom the team's chances from the start. A good year for the AFC West against AFC and NFC South opponents could have the Bills with a winning record, but out of the hunt. A big jump from the defense coupled with a regression on offense could also torpedo Buffalo's chances.
With the turnover in coaching staffs - switching between a 3-4 and 4-3 and 3-4 and 4-3 and 3-4 defensive fronts - it is fair to say the Bills need some stability just to see if something can hold and work. Even this season, the Bills are changing their defensive outlook from a hybrid system to a true Ryan defense.
Ryan is certainly setting up a make-or-break season with his hires on the defensive side of the ball consolidating his vision. Time will ultimately tell if he's done enough to win, or does enough to keep his job in 2017.