So Ralph Wilson has finally done the right thing by firing Dick Jauron. He was clearly unable to turn the team around, and should not have gotten the extension he did last year. So what else is so important for this franchise to do in order to turn things around in Buffalo?
For starters, they need to put GM Russ Brandon back where he belongs, in Sales/Marketing and keep him away from the football operations entirely. Brandon has demonstrated his total lack of knowledge of personnel decisions.
He has no idea how to build a successful team. His authority with the franchise needs to be limited to what he does well, and to his credit, he's done a fine job in regionalizing the Bills. This is what he should stick to.
Next, bring in football people at the top to run things. I'm talking a President or Vice President of Football Operations. I'm thinking Floyd Reese, Ron Wolf, or if the rumors are true and he's getting ready to leave South Florida, Bill Parcells. Any of these men would be well qualified to oversee the rebuilding of this team.
The next area becomes the question mark, if you will. The Bills should not be wasting time looking at guys who might be able to get them to the promised land, they should only be looking at guys who have reached the promised land. This is where it gets a bit sticky.
The three men who best fit the above description are, in order of preference: Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, and Mike Shanahan. The issue is that all three men will likely want control over personnel decisions, if not to be named General Manager along as Head Coach. This is a potential problem.
Ralph is known to dislike the GM/Head Coach as one concept. I don't blame him. It has been largely unsuccessful when tried, especially in recent years. Simply put, it is too much job for one man to do at the level it needs to be done at. But what if that's what it takes to get one of the top candidates?
Normally, I'm not much for trying things that have a history of not working. It is said those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This often turns out to be true. However, due to the pure desperation of this situation, I say if that is what it will take to bring one of those three men to Buffalo to coach the Bills, Ralph, go for it!
Let these men assemble their staffs, hopefully from the scouts up and build the team in their image. Know going in it won't happen next year, and may only begin to be apparent the year after that. But give them the time, the money, and the ability to go get what they need on the field, and I feel confident any of them would pay dividends.
I'm pleased that the Bills have already reached out to Mike Shanahan. Although my own personal preference would be Bill Cowher, due to the violent way his teams play the game, which I think would go over big in Buffalo, I know one thing for sure.
What Bills fans really would prefer in Buffalo is a winner.