ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan said after Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that he did “not know anything about” a CBS Sports report before the game that he could be fired as soon as Monday.
“Guys, I’ll promise you one thing: This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he said at his postgame news conference. “I never knew about [the report] until you guys just said something, so that will tell you how true it is.”
The Buffalo News also reported that Ryan could be fired before the end of the season.
The Bills allowed 460 total yards to the Steelers, including 298 yards from scrimmage by running back Le’Veon Bell. The loss dropped the Bills’ record this season to 6-7. In 29 games with Buffalo, Ryan has a 14-15 record and risks becoming only the fourth coach since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to miss the postseason in six consecutive seasons.
Although Ryan’s defense struggled Sunday, the defeat also raised further questions about the future of quarterback Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo. Taylor went 15-of-25 passing for 228 yards, two touchdowns and one interception but was limited to 46 passing yards in the first half.
Ryan was noncommittal after the loss about Taylor remaining the starter for the Bills’ final three games.
“We’ll see,” Ryan said. “I don’t have any idea, guys. … I’ll do whatever I think’s best for the team.”
As part of a contract extension signed in August, the Bills must guarantee Taylor about $30 million if he remains on the roster by the fourth day of the 2017 league year, which begins in March. Rookie fourth-round pick Cardale Jones is the most likely option to replace Taylor if Ryan makes a quarterback change, although Ryan said Sunday that there has been “no movement” from the front office to let Jones see action.
Ryan also said that his relationship with fourth-year general manager Doug Whaley is “just fine,” adding, “We’re all in this thing together.”
Taylor was brief in answering questions about Ryan’s “we’ll see” comment, saying, “that’s [Ryan's] decision” if the Bills turn away from Taylor as soon as next Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.
As for the CBS Sports report about Ryan’s future, Taylor responded, “I definitely don’t know about that. Those decisions don’t come from me. Definitely bigger, that comes from the top. Definitely don’t want to hear news like that — like I said it’s my first time hearing it.”
Running back LeSean McCoy, who was limited to 27 rushing yards on 12 carries Sunday, defended his coach.
“I haven’t heard that,” McCoy said of the report. “I love my coach. I am happy he brought me here. So I am totally behind him. It is a business and things happen, and I learned that the hard way [in 2015 trade from Philadelphia]. So I understand how that works, but I am totally behind him.”
McCoy also stood behind Taylor.
“That is above my pay grade,” he said. “I don’t know how that is working out. I love my quarterback. I think he is a hell of a player, a good leader, an amazing athlete. However, [the front office working] that out is what they do.”