Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula says he fired Rex Ryan as head coach when Ryan asked about his future before the team's season finale on Sunday.
Ryan was fired after two seasons and a 16–18 record. Buffalo has not made the playoffs since the 1999 season, the NFL's longest postseason drought.
"I was asked a point-blank question, and based on the discussions we've been having all year, I felt it was better to tell Rex we were going in a different direction," Pegula told The Associated Press.
Bills general manager Doug Whaley said during a season-ending press conference on Monday that he did not know Ryan was going to be fired.
"I wasn't privy to the conversation so I cannot get into the details," Whaley said when asked why Ryan was dismissed after two seasons. "I was told by my boss that I will no longer be working with Rex.”
Pegula says he came to the decision on Ryan's future with the team after talking to other personnel in the front office.
"(Whaley) had input on the basis of conversations throughout the year, what the problems were," Pegula said. "But did Doug ever say, 'Are we firing our coach, are we keeping our coach?' We never had that conversation. I took it upon myself to tell Rex on the basis of conversations about the games and the aftermath of certain games that, hey, things aren't going well."
Pegula defended his team as others are critical of the team's decision.
"There's no dysfunction. Everybody is on the same page," Pegula said. "We're busy busting our asses."
- Scooby Axson