The Buffalo Bills fired head coach Rex Ryan after two largely unsuccessful seasons, but general manager Doug Whaley doesn’t know why the club parted ways with the outspoken head coach.
That’s not rhetorical. He seriously doesn’t know.
Whaley admitted as much Monday at a very awkward year-end news conference.
“We had just finished our weekly phone conversation with (Bills owner Terry Pegula) — myself and Rex,” Whaley explained, recalling the circumstances around Ryan’s firing. “Rex asked to speak with (Pegula) privately. After that, I was informed that Rex would no longer be our coach. I wasn’t privy to the conversation so I cannot get into those details.”
One reporter pressed Whaley further, with the reporter citing his own reporting that Buffalo made the decision to fire Ryan weeks before the season ended. Apparently, that was news to Whaley.
“Then you had a lot more information than I did. I wasn’t privy to any part of Rex Ryan being fired until I was told by Terry Pegula,” he said.
The reporter then asked what kind of input, if any, Whaley had on the decision to fire Ryan.
“We usually have those conversations at the year-end evaluation along with the players, all our staff, all my staff. Again, I wasn’t privy to that conversation, so I can’t answer that and maybe you can shed some light on that,” Whaley answered.
“I look at it this way. I’m the GM of the football operation. I was told by my boss I would no longer be working with a certain person. My role is not to figure out why. My role is to take the information and go forward and to put this organization in the very best possible way to win football games. So for me, I did not ask,” Whaley said.
Further, a reporter tried to pin down Whaley by asking not whether the GM was “privy” to the decision but whether his input was solicited in the decision.
“No,” Whaley responded.
And you know what? It still didn’t end there. One reporter went all “Office Space” on Whaley, saying “I’m honestly trying to figure out what you do for a living despite your job title.”
Whaley awkwardly laughed off that question before answering.
It should be another interesting offseason in Orchard Park.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images