When the Bills shocked the NFL world and fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Friday morning, the organization did so after a fact-finding mission the morning following its 37-31 loss to the Jets. But the manner in which they did so is enough to raise some eyebrows.
According to multiple sources, Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula convened private meetings Friday morning with several offensive standouts to discuss the offense. They aimed to get a tenor of what was going on and picked the brains of players on several issues, including play-calling. They tried to figure out what was wrong.
Rex Ryan -- the coach who said the decision to fire Roman two games into the season was "my move, without question" -- was not present for these meetings. He wasn't in the room. Ryan also wasn't pleased when he learned of the nature of them, according to one source briefed on his thinking. But Bills sources insisted Sunday morning that Rex was fine with the meetings between the owners and players.
These meetings, involving key players such as quarterback Tyrod Taylor and others, are one reason why some principals believe ownership played a role in Roman's dismissal.
Roman, who coordinated an offense that led the league in rushing last year, was fired with two years left at $2 million per year. He was dismissed despite scoring 31 points against the Jets, but after dealing with a significant clock issue late in the game.
Ryan replaced him with running backs coach Anthony Lynn, who also serves as assistant head coach. Ryan said the ball will find the hands of his playmakers more under Lynn.
Ryan said he made the decision to fire Roman, then informed ownership of the decision. One source informed of the team's thinking suggested the Pegulas used the meetings to confirm that Ryan was considering getting rid of Roman after the Bills' Week 1 loss. The same source said the Bills are "Rex's team."
Other sources, however, believe the move to fire Roman was spurred by the Pegulas meeting with players. They believe the suggestion was brought to Ryan.
Either way, the gravity of the Bills' situation just became increasingly clear.