How is it that this team still looks flabbergasted to be trailing late in a football game? Seriously now. How is it that in the 16 years since the Bills played football in January that no offensive coordinator has had a specific plan laid out for “what to do in case of trailing by a touchdown”? Are we not considering this possibility? Do the Bills opt not to run through the two minute drill because they think they’ll definitely be leading when they reach the last minutes of the 4th quarter?
I’m not kidding. How can we possibly not be ready for this scenario? Last Thursday, with the clock winding down and the Bills down by one score, what did we see? Shot after shot after shot of Tyrod Taylor staring at the sidelines with his hands in the air, clearly unable to grasp what it was that Greg Roman wanted him to do next. Did we think there was no way we’d be trailing the Jets by the end of that game? Did we take any plays with the words “no-huddle” on them and set them on fire? ANSWER ME!!!
Alright… alright… I’ll be fine.
Thanks to all of these questions and more, I’ve reached the acceptance level of grief over the firing of Greg Roman. I have not, nor will I ever, watch film or scour through player quotes to get to the bottom of this, because it’s pointless. That’s what ESPN is for. Also, none of that ever really tells you anything. Would anyone like to look at old footage of Belichick coaching the Browns and see if there are any correlations to what he’s doing now? I didn’t think so.
Of course, I am in no way trying to compare Belichick and Roman. All I mean is every time a coach is fired, we rarely ever find out what the true cause was and it's always difficult to say who was really at fault. What we do know is that magically a bevy of stories will emerge about how people didn’t get along with them or their playcalling was too complex or they were simply in over their head. It doesn't matter if it's the coordinator, the head coach, or the ball-boy. Whatever the reason, everyone still left on the team will point at the guy walking out the door and say in unison, "There goes the source of all our troubles."
Coordinators, specifically, are always fired because their gameplans were too complex. And the person who is replacing them is going to get “back to basics.” Always. Whenever a new plan is installed, midseason, it’s about simplifying things. To be fair, it would sound ridiculous if Lynn had come in and said, “These guys better get ready for some homework because I’m adding 50 new plays to our playbook.” But you’re definitely gonna hear a lot of quotes like, “We just need to get back to having fun” and “Coach (Insert name of guy who’s probably going to get fired soon too) is just letting us go out there and do what we do!” This, of course, is total horseshit. If you’re lucky, you get a boost for a game or two, but it never lasts. Remember when Dan Campbell was maybe the guy to turn the Dolphins around? Exactly.
Messing with coordinators has become the easiest knee-jerk reaction for head coaches or general managers when the spotlight is getting its hottest. I’ve lost track of how many times Mike McCarthy has relinquished and retaken the job of play-calling for the Packers. And somehow people like me still fall for it. Oh yes, dear reader, I say all this, but my optimism has not left me completely. Within two days of finding out Roman was gone, I was on the phone with my Dad saying things like, “I meeeeean, if Lynn can get the running game going again and take some of the pressure off Tyrod…” I’m hopelessly hopeful. Let’s do this.