Chip Kelly and Rex Ryan were arguably the two most underachieving coaches in the NFL this season. Kelly went 6-9 after back-to-back 10-win seasons, while Ryan inherited a 9-7 team that was expected to make the playoffs but might finish with a losing record.
The Eagles fired Kelly on Tuesday.
“Listen, he has to take ownership,” Bart Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “He wanted absolute power, he got absolute power, so now he has to take responsibility. Whenever you come into the season and you’re picked to maybe be a Super Bowl contender, and you lose the division to the Washington Redskins, I would have been irate. Are you serious? Anybody but them. How do you let the Washington Redskins come and win the division after you were picked to win? And then the way they won it? They won it in your building in a game you had to have and they destroyed you (38-24).”
Ryan, meanwhile, has wondered aloud if he talked too much in his first season in Buffalo. The Bills started the season 5-4 but have lost four of six and will miss the playoffs for the 16th straight season.
“I don’t think he talks too much,” said Scott, who played for the bombastic Ryan from 2009 to 2012. “I think that’s what happens when you do talk and you don’t win. Sometimes you have to put your foot in your mouth. I think really what happened is he didn’t have the support that he needs in the locker room. You hear Mario Williams and some of the guys complaining about the team and the system. Let me tell you something: Rex Ryan knows what he’s doing. . . . People listen to the white noise when you struggle as a team and you don’t have anybody selling your message inside the locker room to stay the course.”
One bright spot for the Bills this season? They may have found their quarterback. Tyron Taylor, 26, completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 2,853 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 games. He’s also rushed for three scores.
“To me, I would put him just slightly ahead as far as a talent standpoint and ability to be a dual threat above Kirk Cousins,” Scott said. “You believe the Washington Redskins are going to be all-in on Kirk Cousins. I think (Taylor is) only going to continue to get better as he stays within the system. He’s only going to get better with more time and more experience. He’s learning how to play the position and manage the game. He’ll be able to master it and have greater control of the system with one more year under his belt.”
While Kelly’s performance – or lack thereof – cost him his job, Ryan almost certainly won’t suffer the same fate.
“You have to give Rex time to get some of his guys in,” Scott said. “He can get some guys that believe in him and believe in his system. You have to get rid of some of that max salary, and I believe you start with Mario Williams, whose contract is backloaded.”