The Pegulas were not present at Bills GM Doug Whaley’s end-of-the-season press conference, but both Terry and Kim Pegula provided information to media members early this evening.
John Wawrow of the Associated Press had an exclusive phone interview with Terry, and one of the Bills co-owners had plenty to say about the state of the organization.
After saying “none of us are happy with the season” regarding the Bills’ 7-9 finish, Wawrow wrote the following about what Terry told him regarding the firing of Rex Ryan:
“Pegula said he made what he called "an executive decision" to fire Ryan during his weekly conference call with the coach and Whaley.”
As Wawrow mentioned, this backs what Whaley stated in his press conference today.
Terry went on to detail the specifics of how the Ryan firing went down. Here’s what Wawrow wrote:
“As the call came to a close, Pegula said Ryan asked to speak to the owner privately. Pegula said Ryan then directly asked him about his future beyond this season.
Pegula said he had no choice but to set things straight with Ryan.
"I was asked a point-blank question and based on the discussions we've been having all year, I felt it was better to tell Rex that we were going in a different direction," Pegula said.”
This is how Terry came to the decision to fire Ryan, per Wawrow: “Pegula based his decision on his own observations, input he's received from his front-office staff over the course of the season, and also on previous discussions he's had with Ryan regarding addressing the team's struggles.”
As for Terry’s exact quote on the matter:
“(Whaley) had input on the basis of conversations throughout the year, what the problems were," Pegula said. "But did Doug ever say, 'Are we firing our coach, are we keeping our coach?' We never had that conversation. I took it upon myself to tell Rex on the basis of conversations about the games and the aftermath of certain games that, hey, things aren't going well."
Regarding Anthony Lynn, Terry admitted the interim head coach was “placed in a tough situation, getting only six days to prepare to coach against the Jets, and minus his starting quarterback.”
Terry even touched on Tyrod Taylor, and after saying a decision has not been made on the quarter, Wawrow mentioned a compliment the Bills’ owner paid to the quarterback:
“Maybe he can win more games than that, I don't know," Pegula said. "But when the other side of the ball's not performing, it's hard to outscore people."
Wawrow ended his article with his quote from Terry:
"There's no dysfunction. Everybody is on the same page. We're busy busting our asses."
Kim Pegula spoke to Sal Capaccio of WGR550 about Buffalo’s head-coach search:
Just spoke with Bills co-owner Kim Pegula who told me she expects team to interview 5-6 HC candidates as opposed to the 12 or so 2 years ago— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) January 2, 2017
According to Capaccio’s talk with Kim, the Bills “will begin meeting tomorrow to further discuss candidates, player evaluations, and off-season direction.”
She also made this clear:
Kim Pegula also reiterated to me she likes qualities Anthony Lynn brings to HC position, but he is certainly "not a lock."— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) January 2, 2017
Terry said the same to Wawrow regarding Lynn.
On Rex Ryan, Kim said the following:
Kim Pegula: "I believe in continuity and really wanted to make that happen. But, we just realized team wasn't going in direction we wanted"— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) January 2, 2017
With comments from Terry and Kim Pegula, we now have more clarity on what went and is going on behind the scenes at One Bills Drive.