Ryan knows it’s no longer his business.
I’ve heard people in the Bills organization say that soon after Ryan signed his five-year, $27.5 million contract in January 2015 that he began to coast. Especially this year. That his fire wasn’t as bright, that he was content. That the money and the security softened him. That he added his twin brother, Rob, this year to his staff and let Rob and the defensive staff do the grittiest work. That he tried to jump back in this season when it was far too late.
That’s a bold sentiment and I’m not sure it’s one I buy. I think Rex Ryan has always cared deeply about wins and losses. He has never been known to shy away from hard work. But he has always been known to put his mouth and jester antics before actual achievement, to talk big before actually producing big. This wore thin in Buffalo quickly. It is always a footprint when he exits.
It was a surprising decision after McCarthy said days earlier that he needs to “shut up more” as the team supports offensive assistant Tom Clements as the play caller. But McCarthy, who gave up play-calling duties in the offseason to better focus on the bigger picture, changed his mind before the Week 14 matchup.
“Play calling is a lot about rhythm and flow,” McCarthy said. “I’m a big believer in that, and you have to have a quarterback that can manage it. It’s really the play caller’s responsibility to feed him. Keep feeding him, spit it to him as fast as you can get it to him and he does the rest. And there’s no one better at it (than Rodgers).”
Rodgers had one of this best games in recent weeks, completing 22 of 35 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Although Rodgers had less control over audibles at the line with McCarthy calling the shots on Sunday — including a season-high 44 running plays — his head coach said he handled it well.
“The balance we were able to have was key,” McCarthy said. “Aaron was impressive in the management of it.”