The Bills have announced that head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley will both return next season.
Heading into Week 17, the Bills are 7–8 and sit in third place in the AFC East.
“As our first full season as owners of the Buffalo Bills draws to a close, management, coaches, players and fans all feel that our expectations were not met,” Bills owner Terry Pegula said in a statement. “(We) look forward to working and collaborating with Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan in forming a winning future for the organization.”
The Bills struggled this season relative to Ryan’s expectations—he publicly said the Bills would make the playoffs—and the coach has drawn some scrutiny from the media for his team’s inconsistent play.
Ryan told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that “the wheels aren’t coming off” the team, but that criticism he’s drawn from his own players has bothered him. Multiple Bills players, including defensive end Mario Williams, have openly critiqued the team’s coaching throughout this season.
“When you look at it, I’ve never had a negative—I’ve never been looked at as the problem,” Ryan said, according to NJ.com. “That bothers me. No doubt about it. Now, I haven’t said anything publicly until now about it, but, sure, that one bothered me.”
He added that he doesn’t think all of his players have bought into his schemes and style yet.
Ryan was hired by Buffalo in the offseason after six seasons as head coach of the New York Jets. Whaley was named the Bills’ assistant general manager/director of pro personnel in 2010, and was promoted to general manager in 2013.
On Sunday, the Bills host the Jets (10–5), who are vying for a playoff spot.