So much for that.
Let's not mince words: Ryan was not true to his word. The Bills' head coach -- perhaps on his own, perhaps with pressure from management -- found a scapegoat for the Bills' 0-2 start by firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Friday.
Anthony Lynn -- up until now the Bills' well-respected assistant head coach/running backs coach -- replaces Roman. Lynn has been one of Ryan's lieutenants since 2009 with the New York Jets. Roman had no such history with Ryan: Roman was a runner-up for Ryan's coaching job whom Buffalo hired to run the offense, but they served on the same Baltimore Ravens coaching staff from 2006 to 2007.
For Ryan and for the team as a whole, this will be a difficult sell to fans. The Bills' offense was pathetic in the season-opening 13-7 loss to the Ravens, managing only 160 total yards, the lowest output since 2006. Yet that unit rebounded enough Thursday to give the Bills a shot to win against the Jets, totaling 393 yards and opening up the field on two deep touchdown passes to Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas.
Ryan's defense? It surrendered 493 total yards in the 37-31 loss, including 370 passing yards from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets QB completed 10 passes on throws of 15 or more yards from the line of scrimmage -- a career high that tied for third-most by any quarterback in the past 10 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Thursday wasn't an aberration. Ryan was already under pressure in Buffalo after he took Jim Schwartz's fourth-ranked defense in 2014 and coached it last season to a 19th-ranked finish that included a paltry 21 sacks, second-fewest in the league. While longtime Ryan assistant Dennis Thurman is the defensive coordinator, Ryan calls the plays and is generally considered in charge of the D.
Overall, Roman's offense has ranked eighth in yards per play since the beginning of the 2015 season, while Ryan's defense sits at 25th in yards per play over the same period.
The result of Friday's shuffling? This is Ryan's team. He already had his twin brother, Rob, and Thurman coaching the defense. Now he has longtime assistant Lynn in charge of the offense alongside several of his other former Jets assistants: quarterbacks coach David Lee, tight ends coach Tony Sparano Jr. and wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.
On one hand, the Bills deserve criticism for allowing Ryan to consolidate power after doing little to deserve it over his first 18 games as head coach.
On the other hand, maybe the Bills are giving Ryan one last chance to get things right -- and if he can't win with his guys, then he won't be winning at all in Buffalo.