Dick Jauron has been in the NFL since 1973. To put it lightly, he’s no rookie to the game. In fact, as far as veterans go, this guy pretty much defines the word.
But being in the game for a long time doesn’t exactly mean you are good at what you do. It might just mean you were in the right place at the right time.
For a while that is exactly what I, and many other people, thought. As a head coach Jauron has only once pushed over the .500 hill, and that was when he was leading the Bears in 2001 to a 13-3 finish and made a short playoff run. Actually, they lost to the Eagles. And Jauron was named COY.
But with QBs like Jim Miller and Kordell Stewart, it is no wonder he got fired after failing to go 8-8 the next two seasons.
Then he landed a head coaching job for Detroit after Steve Mariucci got fired. Jauron lasted exactly five games before losing his job at the end of that season. His record? 1-4.
Then he made it to the Bills, and skipping to 2009, billboards were going up stating, in so many words, “Jauron needs to be fired.”
He of course did get fired and now is the Eagles secondary coach.
But through all these rough years, it never fails to baffle me that this guy still has most of his hair.
And, through all these tough years, there may have been doubt in his head coaching skills, but the pure respect players showed him is evidence that this guy knows how to lead and get players motivated. And when it comes down to it, isn’t that what makes a winning football team?
When Jauron was coaching the Bills, their defense was purely motivated, even though most of their players were under-sized, under-appreciated, and overly-injured. The defense always seemed to leave it all on the field, and even though they may not have been skilled enough to stop offenses, they never said die.
If Jauron brings that same spark to Philly and is able to make Asante want to tackle someone or can help push Sheldon through a hamstring injury (not that he really needs it), maybe this defense can go back to what it once was…The Beast in the East.
With a little help from the draft and some nice grabs in free agency, I don’t see why the Eagles can’t be a No. 1 defense in the NFC.
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