Anthony Lynn: Benching Tyrod Taylor wasn’t my decision

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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.

58 responses to “Anthony Lynn: Benching Tyrod Taylor wasn’t my decision

  1. It’s the coach’s job to win football games. A business decision like this should come from the top.

  2. It was a very, very smart business decision. An added benefit is that the NFL world (especially the Bills) will see what they have in EJ Manuel and in Anthony Lynn as they both get tested under pressure. I hope EJ is gone and Lynn remains as O-Coordinator in 2017. Neither of those is likely to happen.

  3. Tyrod is a good QB. He has one of the best deep balls I’ve seen in a long time and is the best rushing threat in the NFL and this season he proved he can stay healthy. It was dumb to sign him to a deal that big but if he gets free he will get paid what he wants. He would be great with Denver or the jets if decker gets healthy and forte stays solid.

  4. .
    The drafting Manuel is an albatross around Whaley’s neck. Bills fans are reminded of the wasted pick ever time he’s mentioned.

  5. Firing Ryan is a dubious choice. Dropping Taylor would be insanity. Here’s hoping Lynn, or whoever comes next, knows that Taylor has the potential they need.

  6. ihavepriors says:
    Dec 28, 2016 12:16 PM
    Ok, it wasn’t his decision but did he disagree with it? No comment.


    You don’t seriously expect him to say he disagreed with the decision did you? He’s trying to be in the running for head coach. Bad mouthing a mgmt decision (benching Tyrod) doesn’t bode well with that goal does it?

  7. Without the Tyrod contract, the Bills will have roughly $32m in cap space next season. Its a serious no-brainer to sit Tyrod both in terms of keeping him healthy, and seeing what you have in the other QB’s. Now, starting EJ makes no sense, you start Cardal and see what the kids made of. He was rated simarly to Dak, and surprise, have a similar team make-up and philosophy.

  8. How naive to think that management does not have a say in who plays. High draft picks over lower, high priced free agents over others, happens all the time. How else do you explain how long Brock Osweiler started so many games this year.

  9. I’m sure the Bills will look at all of their options at QB for 2017. The problem is, there are not a lot of great options. Most likely they will renegotiate with Tyrod.

    Everyone always says go get the franchise QB. Review the drafts for the last 7 years.
    Look at the QBs drafted, and who you would name a franchise QB . There are not many.
    Luck, Wilson & Carr. Jury is still out on some of the Newer QBs .

  10. “Still, it’s unusual for a head coach not to be the one to decide who plays and who sits.”

    What’s unusual is for a head coach, even an interim one, to say anything other than something along the lines of, “It is something we as an organization thought was best for the team.” Lynn probably didn’t do himself any favors outside the locker room with that statement.

  11. Doug Marone goes 15 – 17 in 2 seasons and they really wanted him to stay. Rex if coaching this week, would probably beat the Jets and finish 16 – 16 over two seasons and they fire him.

  12. I feel bad for the Bills and Jets fan bases (not the trolls). They seem to take two steps forward and two steps back because of their owner, coaching choices, and management. Johnson and Pegula are going to start losing some serious money, the Jets are heading toward the Browns level if they don’t right the ship soon and find a solution and the Bills as of right now remind me of the early 2000 Jets. You guys deserve a lot better, send a message to ownership and don’t waste your time or money on either team.

  13. I’m sure Tyrod will be glad to get released by the Bills. Pegula will get things straight but smart money says it will take a couple of tries aka Steve Ross in Miami.

  14. Interesting situation. Tyrod bet on himself and seems to have won: he’ll get a big contract with “lots” guaranteed from someone. Or, after March he’s got 28M guaranteed for just next year from the Bills. I see why he wanted things structured this way…

    What’s interesting to me is why the team thought it was in their best interest to sign off on a “poison pill” in year two of his contract like this. They’re now in a situation where they may have discovered and developed a legit starting NFL QB…. for someone else. THEN what?! Back to the draft? Pay someone else’s free agent a bunch?

    The GM has put himself in a real pickle. Cracks me up when they do that.

  15. Everyone assumes that Lynn wants the HC job with Buffalo permanently.

    Maybe he is smart enough to see that this is a dumpster fire and that he’d be better off elsewhere, even if that means not being a HC (especially if given a chance to learn under a stable, proven HC with a competent front office and non-intrusive ownership?

  16. I don’t think it’s weird at all. It’s a meaningless game. The GM or owner telling the coach to sit a guy for a good reason in a meaningless game is not meddling. It’s being smart. When/if Whaley does this when it matters, then maybe there’s an issue.

  17. Life long Bills fan –

    This is getting pretty stupid.

    Why are they protecting Whaley…..the NFL is using the Bills as a beacon of cultural diversity…..any other GM would have been fired by now.


  18. So a player gets beat up for not wanting to play, but when it’s the team that does it, that’s ok?

    In the end, the fans, and the overall product is affected.

  19. ihavepriors says:
    Dec 28, 2016 12:16 PM
    Ok, it wasn’t his decision but did he disagree with it? No comment.


    You don’t seriously expect him to say he disagreed with the decision did you? He’s trying to be in the running for head coach. Bad mouthing a mgmt decision (benching Tyrod) doesn’t bode well with that goal does it?
    So why did he have to publicly announce it wasn’t his decision. Drama Queen? He will perfect for the the Bills.

  20. The Bills head coaching job is not a good one to have. While Buffalo is a great place and The Bills are a historical franchise. The team itself has no franchise qb moving forward. You have no control over the makeup of the roster. The expectation level is unrealistic. If Anthony Lynn doesn’t get the team to the playoffs in 2017. Will he be fired? You have to make the playoffs immediately without a great qb and in New England’s Division or else. Ownership has already established their lack of patience and their current gm has already failed to be able to secure a promising future. Whaley has also shown the inability to work with the coaches on his staff. Why would players or coaches commit to Buffalo for the long term? There is no evidence to support that they have any long term commitments to anyone who works for them.

  21. I am still wondering if it was Lynn’s decision to run that stupid reverse to Percy Harvin when the Bills were already in field goal position in OT.

    That play call may have gotten REX fired, how convenient.

  22. Umm….why isn’t the union calling? Unless he is injured or is being disciplined with League approval, I thought you couldn’t bench someone for non-performance reasons? Yea, SF withheld Kaep but he was already injured. The Redskins could make a performance argument for benching RG3 a year ago.

    But Tyrod just came off the best game of his career, is top 10 in PFF grades the past 2 years, and they are benching him?

    NFL Players Association is a joke and the weakest union in sports.

  23. jchipwood says:
    Dec 28, 2016 12:42 PM

    Doug Marone goes 15 – 17 in 2 seasons and they really wanted him to stay. Rex if coaching this week, would probably beat the Jets and finish 16 – 16 over two seasons and they fire him.


    Because Marrone took a bad Bills team that was mired in the AFCE basement for years and IMPROVED the Bills to 9-7 and a second place finish behind the Pats. Marrone also built a solid team of coaches including Jim Schwarz who built a top 5 defense. Marrone left in part because of Whaley, the change in ownership, and a favorable contract situation. Rex on the other hand, took a winning team south, destroyed the defense (while ostensibly being a defensive genius – SMH), and didn’t deliver on the expectations he so forthrightly declared.

  24. Ah yes, everyone knows when GMs/owners start making these kinds of decisions success will shortly follow.

  25. Coaches that reach the OC/DC level really should get some PR/speaking to the media training for their own benefit. Lynn most likely thought he was just being honest. He’s not media savvy enough to know honesty can be fulfilled many different ways.

    And while Lynn is probably a great person, his demeanor could have been perceived as combative or clueless depending on the viewer. Again, some training would help that issue.

  26. A loss by the Bills could move them up 7 spots on the draft. The NFL really needs to reconsider where teams pick in the draft. Count on the Bills finding a way to lose this week !

  27. What is unusual about leaving the HC out of this decision?

    Anyone with some knowledge about the NFL knows anything can and does happen because the NFL is a BUSINESS first and a sport down the line at third.

  28. If Lynn is implying he’d have started Taylor and risked losing $30 million for a totally meaningless game then he’ll never get past being an interim.

  29. That Whaley is a supporter of Manuel is all you need to know when assessing his ability as the judge of talent. Should have been fired along with the Ryan twins. A Patriots fan, but Buffalo fans are extremely loyal to their team, and they deserve better.

  30. Anthony Lynn has too much integrity to be stuck here as HC with Doug Whaley making the decisions. Looks like he is letting the Pegulas know that if they want him to “cook the meal” as HC, he will need to be given the chance to “pick the groceries.”

  31. When you’re GM doesn’t know how to evaluate coaches or QBs, you’re in big trouble. Good luck attracting a coach that has other options. And when the owner plays along with the charade, you’re really in trouble. The NFL should start splitting up the TV revenue based on wins. That might get some of these owners’ attention. There’s really no incentive for the owners to try to win. Continuing to fire coaches, and having the same GM involved in the hiring process time and time again, is a bunch of bull. Obviously this GM doesn’t have what it takes to be a successful GM, and obviously the owner doesn’t care.

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