Bills owner explains how he fired coach Rex Ryan

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula on Monday detailed his decision to fire coach Rex Ryan.

And the details are ... awkward.

Calling Ryan's firing an "executive decision," Pegula told The Associated Press that he dumped the coach during a conference call with Ryan and Bills general manager Doug Whaley.

At the end of the call, Ryan requested to speak with Pegula one-on-one. Rex then "directly asked him about his future beyond this season," according to The AP.

"I was asked a point-blank question and based on the discussions we've been having all year, I felt it was better to tell Rex that we were going in a different direction," Pegula said.

The ever-loyal Ryan then suggested that fill-in offensive coordinator and longtime aide Anthony Lynn take over as interim coach for the final game of the season.

Pegula's interview came soon after Whaley -- during a news conference that left Bills fans dazed -- took zero ownership over Ryan's dismissal, saying: "I was told by my boss that I will no longer be working with Rex."

Pegula certainly took full ownership of Ryan's firing, but noted that season-long input from the front office was also taken into consideration.

"(Whaley) had input on the basis of conversations throughout the year, what the problems were," Pegula said. "But did Doug ever say, 'Are we firing our coach, are we keeping our coach?' We never had that conversation. I took it upon myself to tell Rex on the basis of conversations about the games and the aftermath of certain games that, hey, things aren't going well."

Said Pegula: "None of us are happy with the season."

Other takeaways from Pegula:

  1. The Bills owner, per The AP, expressed "full confidence in (Whaley's) ability to turn around his franchise," and dismissed that the Bills might be mired in turmoil, saying: "There's no dysfunction. Everybody is on the same page. We're busy busting our asses."
  1. Pegula called Lynn a candidate to replace Ryan, but "not a lock" for the role of Buffalo's next head coach.
  1. On the subject of Tyrod Taylor, Pegula said the team still needed to fully evaluate the quarterback, saying of Taylor's 7-8 record in 2016: "Maybe he can win more games than that, I don't know. But when the other side of the ball's not performing, it's hard to outscore people."
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