The Bills are out of playoff contention, but as long as Rex Ryan is the coach, he's sticking with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback.
Bills management has a decision to make regarding Taylor's contract option this offseason, and one line of thought is that the team should sit Taylor for the finale to ensure he doesn't suffer a serious injury. If he is unable to pass a team physical by March 11 – the third day of the league year – due to a football injury, a large chunk of his money becomes guaranteed.
But Ryan said after Saturday's loss to the Dolphins that he's sticking with Taylor, and he doubled down Monday. Ryan said there hasn't been any push from within the organization to start either EJ Manuel or Cardale Jones.
"I mean, hey, I’m going to say this: Yes, Tyrod will start," Ryan said.
"As a coach, I just want to win. I think these players deserve it," he added. "I don’t think it’s in the best interests of our team, you know, not to play Tyrod.
"And the way I look at it is this: If I sit Tyrod Taylor down, OK, and I don’t sit Kyle Williams down, it’s because, ‘Kyle, you’re not as important as Tyrod,’ or this player’s not as important as this guy or whatever. I think, you know – you know I want to win the game. That’s how I look at it. It’s the next opportunity we have. I want to win the game."
Sunday's game is also the last chance Ryan has to leave on impression on team owners Terry and Kim Pegula, who have allowed his seat to grow red-hot by not offering any public support for their coach amid multiple reports he could be fired during or immediately after the season.
Ryan reiterated that winning the game "means a lot" to him when asked Monday about his job security and if he thinks it's fair to judge a coach on his record after two years.
"Well, I think, the only person that it needs to affect, the only people, are Terry and Kim Pegula," Ryan said. "That’s who’s going to make the decision on whether I’m here, whether this person’s here. That’s who makes that decision. So, whatever they think is fair, that’s the only thing that matters. As a coach, that’s why I said I’m going to try to win this game – trust me, I’m going to try and win this game. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t mean anything. To me, it means a lot. I want to win the game and that’s just who I am. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be fair, or isn’t fair or is fair. It doesn’t matter. It’s, I’m going to do the best job I can, just like always."