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Jauron’s Tenure Comes to a Dreadful, Necessary End

I guess the moral here is that if you ask for something long and loudly enough, then you shall receive. Ok so that’s not entirely true, but right now that’s not the issue. The fact is the Bills have given their fans what they wanted by firing head coach Dick Jauron on Tuesday afternoon. Maybe that huge billboard imploring owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. to clean house just couldn’t be ignored any longer by the Bills’ hall of fame owner.

This season was one big roll of the dice from the outset, and Jauron rolled snake eyes. Last season he was a man of great luck. The Bills started 4-0, and after defeating San Diego ran their record to 5-1. Jauron inked a three-year extension, worth a guaranteed $3 million a year. Buffalo lost eight of their final 10 games and for the third straight season, the Bills finished with a 7-9 record under Jauron. Needless to say, fans were outraged and called for his job almost immediately after season’s end. Instead, Wilson elected to give Jauron one more chance this season.

No matter how ticked off or frustrated with Jauron returning, the writing was on the wall: he had to make the playoffs or he would pay for it with his job. It should come as a surprise to no one that Jauron didn’t make it to Thanksgiving. He signed off on firing offensive coordinator Turk Schonert after the two had, umm, creative offensive differences we’ll call it. He wanted to run the no-huddle offense with the youngest offensive line in the NFL, a line that was starting five new players, three of which had never played a down in the NFL. Jauron also signed off on having Langston Walker starting at left tackle, only Walker was released days prior to the Bills’ opening game. The offensive results have resulted in the Bills being one of the most inept, ineffective offenses in all of football. They rank 29th on offense. They’ve gone 14 consecutive games passing for less than 250 yards and seven straight without amassing 300 total yards of offense.

If you were to break down Jauron by the numbers, I must warn you that the statistics aren’t suitable for those without parental supervision. Consider yourself warned.

o Against the AFC East, Jauron was 8-13
o His record against New England was 0-7
o In his previous three seasons, the Bills were 2-21 against teams with a winning record
o 24-33 in his 3 ½ year tenure in Buffalo
o After a 5-1 start last season, Buffalo finished 2-8
o 5-14 in past 19 games

So Jauron’s last desperate stand comes to an abrupt, yet necessary end in Orchard Park. The NFL is a bottom line league, and the bottom line here is that Jauron failed as the Bills’ head coach. The measuring stick is New England, and Buffalo has never measured up. If you can’t beat the Patriots, you can’t expect to win the division. If you can’t win inside your division, you can’t expect to be taken seriously. While the Patriots have ascended to the NFL’s elite, the Bills have sunk to one of the NFL’s doormats. Whether it’s 7-9 or 3-6, the Bills aren’t a good football team. Under Jauron’s watch, the Bills have been capable of beating bad football teams and incapable of beating good football teams. Last year the Bills beat four nobodies and a good Chargers team. Wins over good teams once in a blue moon doesn’t cut it. Becoming one of only three teams since 1968 to start 5-1 and not the make the playoffs last year surely doesn’t cut it, either.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell takes over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. How the Bills will finish out the year under Fewell is anyone’s guess. But what we do know is that phase one at One Bills Drive has been completed. The Bills will have a new head coach in 2010. The house cleaning has begun, and I’m sure Jauron won’t be the last one to be shown the door.

When I heard the news of the Jauron’s firing, four words came to mind: It’s about damn time. I condemned Ralph Wilson Jr. for bringing back Jauron last year, and even though nine games have been washed away under Jauron, I have to applaud Wilson for pulling the trigger and canning Jauron in mid season. This just got way too ugly. The loss to Houston two weeks ago and last Sunday’s curb stomping against Tennessee appear to have been too much to stomach for Wilson and company. Now the real work begins.

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