Anthony Lynn up, Dennis Thurman down among Bills' coaches in 2015

Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman seemed unable to get his players onboard with what he and Rex Ryan wanted them to do. AP Photo/Bill Wippert

On Monday, we took a look at which Buffalo Bills players were "up" and which were "down" for the 2015 season.

So what about the coaches?

With offensive coordinator Greg Roman's comments to WGR 550 this week that he is surprised that teams with head-coaching vacancies haven't shown much interest in him, it's worth taking a look at which Bills coaches were on the rise this season and which coaches' stock might have fallen.

This analysis isn't necessarily indicative of which coaches are in danger of being fired. As of Thursday evening, the Bills had yet to announce any changes to their coaching staff. Such changes are often the result of contract situations -- which, unlike players, aren't usually made public -- and can also be shaped by the relationships that a head coach has with his assistants.

With that in mind, here is a "stock watch" for the 2015 Bills' staff:


Running backs coach Anthony Lynn: To this point, Lynn is the only Bills assistant who has received interest from teams with head-coaching vacancies. He had interviews with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers this week. Lynn, who also serves as the Bills' assistant head coach, deserves some credit for the team's top-ranked running game this season. When LeSean McCoy was injured, rookie Karlos Williams stepped in without a hitch, and when Williams was injured, the Bills received a spark from practice-squad call-up Mike Gillislee.

Roman: He hasn't received the bites from teams looking for a head coach as he has in recent offseasons, which might be a factor of the Bills' record this season (8-8) keeping their coordinators off the national radar. Still, Roman has incorporated new pieces like McCoy, quarterback Tyrod Taylor and tight end Charles Clay into the Bills' offense and seen across-the-board statistical improvement, especially in the running game. Roman has taken some criticism from fans for some of his play-calling -- a few of his gadget calls came at odd moments in games and seemed unnecessary. He also needs to continue to find ways to get the ball in Sammy Watkins' hands.

Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer and assistant offensive line coach Kurt Anderson: The Bills' offensive line was vastly improved in 2015, partly because of the addition of veteran guard Richie Incognito. Even so, the Bills' switch from Pat Morris to Kromer as their offensive line coach was an obvious upgrade and one reason their running game spiked after a rough 2014 season. Anderson filled in for Kromer during his six-week suspension to start the season and held down the fort well.

NEUTRAL: Quarterbacks coach David Lee, wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, tight ends coach Tony Sparano Jr., defensive backs coaches Donnie Henderson and Tim McDonald.


Head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman: The Bills' disappointing 2015 season will be remembered for their defensive failures after that unit was among the NFL's best in 2014. Are players partly responsible for that? Of course. But with Ryan and Thurman's track records as defensive coaches, many expected better from the Bills' defense, and both defensive minds just seemed unable to get the problem fixed. Although Ryan insisted that the issues weren't as widespread as it was being perceived, it became increasingly clear over the final two months of the season that there was a disconnect between what Ryan and Thurman wanted to run on defense and what players were able or willing to do.

Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar and linebackers coach Bobby April: This is an extension of the problems that Ryan and Thurman had getting their players to fit into the scheme, or changing the scheme to fit the players. Both Dunbar and April were part of the process in having players adjust from Jim Schwartz's system to what Ryan wanted to run, and therefore they deserve some blame for the shortcomings of the defensive front seven. There might have been a slew of injuries elsewhere on the roster, but most starters along the front seven stayed healthy: Jerry Hughes, Manny Lawson and Preston Brown played all 16 games; Mario Williams missed one game because of a foot injury; Marcell Dareus missed one game because of a suspension and Nigel Bradham played every game until his late-season ankle injury. That's a talented group, too.

Special-teams coordinator Danny Crossman: He and Henderson were the only two full-time position coaches who remained from Doug Marrone's staff. The Bills' performance on special teams was all over the map in 2015. They gained the third-fewest yards per kick return, allowed the fewest yards per opponent kick return, averaged the 10th-fewest yards per punt return and averaged the 14th-most yards per opponent punt return. The Bills were also called for the third-most special-teams penalties in the NFL.