As with so many others around the NFL, Mark Dominik didn’t see this coming.
Heck, there were plenty of those within the Buffalo Bills who didn’t expect the team to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman after only two games this season — especially after the Bills’ offense led the NFL in rushing last season and put three players in the Pro Bowl as alternates.
‘There’s got to be a lot more to this’
“I’m shocked at this early,” Dominik told co-host Bruce Murray on the SiriusXM Blitz. “It’s a guy that you’ve known, he’s been around the organization. There’s one thing, sometimes, when you have a brand new person coming into your organization and kind of installing his offense and maybe it’s working and maybe it’s not working. But there’s completely another where you sit there, you know the guy, you know what he’s been around. … With your quarterback, there were some missed throws, some missed opportunities. Still, overall, there’s got to be a lot more to this. You just can’t throw the coaches under the bus this quick unless there’s something really kind of crazy, behind-the-scenes that we don’t understand or we don’t know. I’m really surprised by this one.”
The Bills promoted Anthony Lynn, who had been their assistant head coach/running backs coach, to replace Roman. Dominik and Lynn, who has never been a coordinator at any level, go back many years.
Lynn’s ‘career path has grown’
“Anthony Lynn’s a guy that I’ve known for a long, long time,” Dominik said. “I remember scouting him as a player when he was with the Denver Broncos. He spent some time with San Francisco, but I remember then that I got to know him a little bit when he was an early scout/coach with the Denver Broncos and certainly Jacksonville. I’d run into him from time to time, certainly seen him along the way.
“His career path has grown. This is a guy that has interviewed for head-coaching jobs. He just hasn’t got it yet, so now he’s got the opportunity to be the offensive coordinator, which is the fast track to becoming a head coach. It’s just big, because he has not had a chance to call a play, and that’s hard. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It’s just hard when you haven’t had the offseason to kind of prepare. What’s your offensive philosophy going to be? How do you want to call it? So a lot can’t change on this one.
‘Surrounded by guys who have called plays’
“Anthony Lynn’s job is to sit there and say, ‘We’re going to throw this ball down the field a little bit more. We’re going to be a little bit more aggressive.’ I guess the good thing is, I don’t know where (Bills senior offensive assistant) Chris Palmer is in the pecking order of how often he’s around that football team. But he is surrounded by guys who have called before, which will help Anthony Lynn in this transition. But it’s a tough one, because you don’t get the preseason to kind of get the pacing down of how to get the call in, how do you get the call out and all those little intricacies that you think about that we all take advantage from the television.”
Bills fire Roman, promote Lynn to OC
After only two games, Greg Roman is out as offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills.
Anthony Lynn, who had been the team’s assistant head coach/running backs coach, was promoted to replace Roman, who joined Rex Ryan when he became the Bills’ coach last year.
Owners upset with offense
The move happened Friday morning, after the Bills’ 37-31 loss to the New York Jets when, ironically, their defense appeared to be the biggest problem by allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 374 yards and a touchdown.
But as SiriusXM NFL Radio co-host Vic Carucci reported for The Buffalo News and on Sirius, team owners Terry and Kim Pegula were upset with the offense’s performance last season — despite the team leading the NFL in rushing — and through the Bills’ 0-2 start this year.
3rd-down struggles, communication issues
Vic said that among the biggest issues they had with the offense was the fact it ranked 21st in the league in fewest third-down conversions last season (37.9 percent) and that there were communication issues between the sidelines and quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who was getting plays from Roman slowly via the receiver in his helmet.
According to Vic, the owners expressed their concerns to Ryan during a meeting Friday morning. Ryan then took action. The biggest embarrassment for the offense was the season-opening, 13-7 loss at Baltimore. That’s when it had 160 yards, the lowest total in 10 years, and only one touchdown.
Big plays not seen as ‘sustainable’
Although Taylor had touchdown passes of 84 and 71 yards Thursday night, Vic pointed out that he looked tentative and uncomfortable. He also seemed indecisive and ran unnecessarily.
From what Vic is hearing from within the team, ownership didn’t think such plays were sustainable and that Taylor wasn’t showing much progress. The running game also has performed poorly, and Vic expects Lynn to make that a larger focus of the offense going forward.