Anthony Lynn is the Bills’ head coach for Week 17, and the leading candidate to be the Bills’ head coach for 2017. But he’s not making all the coaching decisions right now.
Lynn confirmed today that he did not make the decision to bench Tyrod Taylor and start EJ Manuel for Sunday’s season finale. Lynn also referred to the move as a business decision.
“I wasn’t in that room when that decision was made,” Lynn said, via Joe Buscaglia of WKBW.
So apparently it was some combination of G.M. Doug Whaley and owner Terry Pegula who decided that Taylor shouldn’t play. It’s easy to understand why, from a business perspective, they want to bench Taylor: His contract would guarantee him $30 million if he were to suffer an injury serious enough on Sunday that he couldn’t pass an offseason physical. The Bills don’t want to take that kind of risk for a meaningless Week 17 game when they’re already out of playoff contention.
Still, it’s unusual for a head coach not to be the one to decide who plays and who sits. And it could create some interesting dynamics if Lynn gets the job on a permanent basis, with the precedent set in advance that the people above the head coach may make some decisions that are usually the coach’s domain.