ORCHARD PARK — There is this little saying about New York City: "If you can make it there, you can make it, anywhere."

That saying has not resonated with coaches or general managers with the Buffalo Bills over the years.

Losing a job in Buffalo might be a career-ender or a step down the ladder because of the 16-year playoff drought.

The Buffalo Bills are .500 or better the last three seasons after having one season above .500 since 1999. This could be a team on the way up. Being a part of a franchise turnaround is not only fulfilling personally, but will help with future employment professionally.

Which is why someone in the front office who wants to keep his or her job is starting rumors about Rex Ryan being fired.

You can't blame the writers at the national level who are reporting this, even though it wasn't true after the loss to the Steelers. They are paid a lot for not just in-depth reporting, but for quick-hitter exclusives and rumors.

It's up to owners Terry and Kim Pegula to find the rat.

I've reserved decision on Rex Ryan all year and now it's time to keep him.


This is a 7-7 team that could be 10-4 right now with little to no star power. Tyrod Taylor is not the answer.

However, the team is made up of hard-working players who get the job done and those big-name, big-contract players who are not are in position to walk at the end of the season.

Ryan has shown the ability to make changes and put part of his ego in his back pocket.

After two games, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman was let go. Under Anthony Lynn, a no-nonsense guy with the smarts to stay with what is working, the team is 7-5. 

With Lynn calling plays, do you think the 13-7 loss to the Ravens and the 37-31 loss to the Jets turn out differently? Against the Jets, a good offense is sometimes the best defense. Also, I'm sure Lynn wishes he had the 28-25 loss to the Dolphins back, even without LeSean McCoy.

Ryan's brother, Rob, has assisted Defensive Coordinator Dennis Thurman more and made valuable contributions (see the Arizona win).

Back to the star power.

No one is buying up Brown, Alexander, Brown, Wood, Incognito, Williams, Clay, Felton, Tate and Gillislee jerseys, but they have had above-average years.

However, there is McCoy.

If anyone on the team could make an excuse for lack of production, it is McCoy. Instead, he has run for 1,129 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards a carry. Sometimes he only knows who he is running behind because of the name stitched on the jersey.

When he scored against Cleveland, he gave the ball to a lineman. His increased role as a leader during the “Fire Rex Ryan” rumors seem to have rubbed off on his teammates.

Taylor was personable for the first time in a few weeks.

The Bills simply cannot afford to lose McCoy.

And if McCoy says to keep Rex, I agree.

It sounded like he dedicated his 153-yard, two-touchdown performance in the 33-13 win over the Browns to Ryan.

"So much heat going on about our coach, about the team, this and that, let the guys have fun. We talked about going out and dominating. It's a game we should win, well let's play like it ... let's showcase it," said McCoy.

As for the rumors, he said, "It's definitely motivating. As a coach, you get a lot of praise and you get a lot of blame. It's a tough position, it really is ... There are so many things he gets blamed for that are out of his control." 

He made another plea to keep his coach.

"It sucks to hear all the rumors because I know how much he means to this team and the players," said McCoy. "I talk to Rex, I talk to him all the time. I always like to have a good relationship with my coaches. Rex, he's a great guy, he has his own personality, which is cool, that makes him unique ... I stress to him all the time, 'Hey man, I'm behind you 110 percent, you're my coach.' I think it's fair to give him enough time with this team to build, to get a new chemistry and a new culture of winning football. I think he gets a lot of blame for things he cannot control."

It's also apparent the Pegulas have set up a culture in which players can voice their opinion, but the tail does not wag the dog.

"The good thing about the ownership here and the guys upstairs is that they actually listen to the players. The whole thing with the coaching move with the offensive coordinator, they were involved, they listened, which was cool," said McCoy. "It makes it easier for the players to open up. It's not something I'll just go up there and do. If they ever want to open up and talk to the leaders of the team,' I'll give them an honest opinion because I'm an honest guy."

McCoy then made a statement about the rumors.

Maybe it was addressed to the players, maybe it was addressed to the front office rat.

"As men, be accountable. Be mature," McCoy said.

If someone in the front office who can't work on getting rid of the salary cap players who have not produced and add the pieces for a major playoff contender around McCoy, maybe that's the problem this off-season to focus on.

Not Rex.

(John Anderson is a Buffalo Bills columnist for GateHouse Media. He can be reached at johnanderson@eveningtribune.com)