Continuity? Really?

It seems that Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson has decided to retain the services of head coach Dick Jauron, whose approval ratings in Buffalo slide in below those of George W. Bush. Jauron is a very nice guy, and he’s also a lousy coach who aside from a game or two a year never seems to have the Bills prepared, disciplined, or even motivated.

Mr. Wilson’s apparent deciding factor was the need for “continuity” on the team, since bringing in a new coaching staff would represent some upheaval for the squad. But jeebus, the Bills have just finished going 7-9 for the third consecutive year under Jauron. The guy’s turned in the exact same sub-par result each year he’s been here! Why on earth would we want more continuity, if that’s what we’re continuing?!

Here’s Gregg Easterbrook, nicely summing it all up:

Two weeks ago, the Bills led at the two-minute warning against the Jets, were having a great day rushing and needed only a couple of runs to drill the clock: Buffalo coaches inexplicably called a pass, and the play resulted in the winning touchdown for Jersey/B. Don’t you think maybe this fiasco would have been fresh in Bills coaches’ minds Sunday? With the Patriots leading 13-0, Buffalo faced fourth-and-1 on the Flying Elvii 39 midway through the fourth quarter. To that point, Buffalo had 129 yards rushing and 70 yards passing — and Buffalo coaches called a shotgun spread pass. Incompletion, and TMQ wrote the words “game over” in his notebook. Plus, it wasn’t even a deep attempt to hit the home run, rather, a rinky-dinky sideways thing that would have gained maybe 5 yards. When New England faced a fourth-and-2 in the same contest, the Pats ran and converted.

To call the New England at Buffalo game an example of a great coach versus a novice would be sugarcoating what happened. In strong gusting wind, both teams mainly ran. But the Patriots called a variety of rushing tactics and 30 of the 31 non-scramble Buffalo rushes went between the tackles; Bills coaches never took advantage of the up-the-middle pattern to call a reverse, bootleg, end-around or even a counter. Bill Belichick worked the details of the wind, Dick “Cheerio, Chaps” Jauron seemed oblivious to it. Trailing 3-0, Buffalo had third-and-9 on the New England 30 with the wind at the Bills’ back. Buffalo ran up the middle for 2 yards, as if a 47-yard field goal in a 40-mph wind would be a gimme. The ball corkscrewed wildly and missed — and why was Jauron playing for a field goal rather than a touchdown in the first place? Reaching third-and-5 at the New England 12 with 22 seconds remaining in the first half and no timeouts, Bills coaches called another run up the middle — though it’s third down, so unless you make the first, you can’t spike! The run gained 3 yards, and the clock expired before Buffalo could snap for a field goal attempt. One Buffalo player was wasting precious seconds pushing and shoving with two Patriots — don’t think the New England players didn’t do that on purpose, knowing the clock situation. Rather than rush the field goal team out, Buffalo coaches stood on the sideline watching the fight. And why was Jauron playing for a field goal rather than a touchdown in the first place? Buffalo had the wind advantage in the third quarter, but New England staged a long drive, keeping the Bills off the field. When Buffalo got possession, the Flying Elvii led 10-0 and there was 4:39 remaining in the third quarter, Buffalo’s last chance to work with the wind — and the Bills did not go no-huddle! A listless three-and-out followed, and the game might as well have concluded there.

Jauron is 57-77, has just one winning season in his entire coaching career and has led the Bills to three consecutive losing seasons. On game days, Jauron looks bored on the sideline. The AFC East test of manhood is how you play against New England: Jauron is 0-6 versus the Patriots, and the Bills have been outscored 174-50 in those games. Game in and game out against New England under Jauron, the Bills simply roll over. Yet rumors persist that Buffalo management just granted Jauron a long-term contract extension. Patriots fans certainly hope so.


Oh, Mike Shanahan got fired from the Broncos today. I’m sure glad our guy’s not on the open market. Yeesh.

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