Friday’s roundup: Roman given boot by the Bills
Orchard Park, N.Y. — Rex Ryan is holding himself answerable for the Buffalo Bills’ slow start. At the same time, he’s made a significant change to his coaching staff by firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Roman was let go Friday in a bid to kick-start the Bills’ sputtering Tyrod Taylor-led attack.
“I’m accountable for everything that goes on here,” Ryan said. “Offense, defense, special teams, anything, you name it. And I’m accountable for making decisions like this. It falls on me. And I accept those responsibilities.”
The team announced the move in an email released a day after Buffalo fell to 0-2 following a 37-31 loss to the New York Jets.
Running backs coach Anthony Lynn will take over as coordinator. Lynn also serves as an assistant head coach and has spent the past eight years working under Ryan.
Ryan called Lynn “an outstanding coach,” who has turned down opportunities to be an offensive coordinator in the past. Lynn also interviewed for the Miami Dolphins’ head coaching vacancy during the offseason.
“He commands respect. He’s got the respect of the entire locker room,” Ryan said. “He’s a smart guy, X and O’s guy. He’s a former world champion as a player. He comes from great stock.”
Roman was in his second season as coordinator, and was hired by Ryan when he took over the team in January 2015.
“I appreciate Greg Roman and the job he did for us. Always thought he’s a tremendous coach and I still believe that,” Ryan said. “But this is a decision that I think, going forward, is going to help our team and that’s why I did it.”
Ryan wouldn’t say what specific changes he hopes to see from the offense. But he indicated getting the ball to the Bills’ top playmakers would be a priority.
“We have a lot of talent on offense,” Ryan said. “I believe we are going to do what we can to put the ball in our playmakers’ hands, and I think Anthony will do that.”
The Bills’ offense is off to a sputtering start. It managed just 160 yards — Buffalo’s lowest total in a decade — in a season-opening 13-7 loss at Baltimore on Sunday. Against the Jets, the Bills had 307 yards offense, with more than half that coming on two plays: Taylor’s 84-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin and a 74-yard TD pass to Greg Salas.
Otherwise, Buffalo managed 16 first downs, had one drive reach the red zone, and converted 3 of 10 third-down chances.
Though Buffalo scored 31 points, seven came as a result of safety Nickell Robey-Coleman returning Jalin Marshall’s fumble 36 yards for a touchdown.
Fans mad about Sharper
The inclusion of former NFL safety and convicted rapist Darren Sharper on this year’s list of Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees has created a national outcry.
Sharper, a five-time Pro Bowler, pleaded guilty in 2015 to drugging and raping up to 16 women in four states. U.S. District Court Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced him to 18 years in prison last month.
There is no character clause to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, but that has not tempered a debate that has some Twitter members calling for an NFL boycott in the unlikely event Sharper is elected.
To be eligible for the nominating process, a player or coach must be retired for at least five years. Several more cuts remain in the process before finalists are chosen.
Messages and emails left with two Hall of Fame spokesmen were not immediately returned.
2.1M watch Twitter game
The NFL’s first prime-time game broadcast on Twitter reached an audience of 2.1 million on the social media site Thursday night.
An average audience of 243,000 watching the Jets beat the Bills on Twitter viewed an average of 22 minutes of game action.
Across all digital NFL platforms, there was an average of 314,000 users, with each spending an average of 25 minutes watching.
On all platforms, including CBS and NFL Network’s TV broadcasts, the average audience was 15.7 million per minute.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been fined $21,269 by the NFL for his actions that led to his ejection in the team’s opening loss to the 49ers.
Donald was docked $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct and $9,115 for unnecessary roughness after he was called for 15-yard penalties, including for making contact with an official.
... Panthers guard Trai Turner was fined $9,115 for taunting the Broncos’ Chris Harris Jr.
The Minnesota Vikings have ruled two starters out against the Packers because of knee injuries, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
All signs have Sam Bradford making his debut aat quarterback.
... The Packers listed cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) as doubtful. Reserve Josh Hawkins (hamstring) has been declared out.
... Jets coach Todd Bowles says wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s left knee is “fine” and just “sore,” and he should be able to play in New York’s next game.
... Jaguars running back Chris Ivory will miss his second straight game while recovering from a “general medical issue.” Also ruled out was cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring).
... No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff will be the Rams’ backup quarterback in their home opener against the Seahwawks.
... The Raiders are likely to be without starting right tackle Menelik Watson and a key backup for their home opener.