Buffalo Bills' Biggest Problem Isn't the Head Coach, Point the Finger at Owner

Matt SchaeferCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2008

The Buffalo Bills dropped another embarrassing loss in front of a “home” crowd in Toronto against their AFC East rival, the Miami Dolphins, by a final score of 16-3.

Many fans, including myself, have seen enough of this disgrace on the field and want change.  Head Coach Dick Jauron and Offensive Coordinator Turk Schonert are currently on the top of the totem pole but after the game on Sunday I realized something important, this team will not change as long as Ralph Wilson Jr. is in charge. 

After the game, Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan was able to talk one on one with Bills owner, Ralph Wilson and here are some of the quotes taken from what is supposed to be an owner who cares about winning:

“Were you embarrassed by this performance today?" 

"No, no. I’m getting used to that,” Wilson said with a laugh.

"You’ve scored three points two weeks in a row. It’s a long way from the 5-1 record that you had at the start of the season." 

“At 5-1, we got a lot of turnovers,” he said. “But we just don’t have the talent.”

"What about the head coach?" 

“What about him? He can’t kick field goals or tackle during a game. Let’s see, what else is there? Block. Tackle.”

"So you’re not saying whether he [Jauron] has an extension or not?"


"It would be nice to know. Dick Jauron is not very popular right now." 

“Neither am I,” Wilson said, chortling again. “We’ll go out together.”

Are you kidding me? 

I have never liked guys like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, who stand on the sidelines and call out players because I never really thought that was his place.  

Boy was I wrong.  What I would do for an owner that actually cared whether his team won or lost a game and actually held people responsible for critical mistakes, like taking a 5-1 team that is now sitting at 6-7 for example.  Would anyone be on the staff right now if this happened with another team?

Now do I expect the Bills to spend like the ‘Boys?  No of course not.  They are two teams with two different budgets in two completely different markets.  BUT, when you sign a deal that will bring the Bills $78 million for playing games away from home, you would think that money would go towards player contracts.

Nope, not with Ralph.  The money just goes into his back pocket but he will still complain that Buffalo sucks and he can’t charge more for ticket prices. 

Even if Dick Jauron does get the boot at the end of this season, who are the Bills going to get?  Since the great Marv Levy left after the 1997 season, the Bills have gone through Wade Phillips (promoted from within), Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey, and now Dick Jauron and none of them have done much while with the team or since.

(Writer’s Note: Please Dallas fans do not say Phillips is a good coach.  He inherited a Bill Parcells team and hasn’t done much with it.  Still no playoff wins and now the Cowboys might even miss the playoffs this season altogether.  As for Bills fans who disagree with Phillips being terrible, he benched Rob Johnson for Doug Flutie. Enough said right there.)

Wilson will not have a big coach brought in.  He will look for a coordinator who he can underpay to get him to be a head coach.  Maybe it will work out this time, but with teams with first year coaches like Mike Smith of Atlanta, John Harbaugh of Baltimore, Jim Zorn of Washington and Tony Sparano of Miami all having success, it just shows the Bills don’t know how to pick the right one.

The Bills also have a marketing whiz in as a GM.  Russ Brandon can sure sell tickets and help create deals to make money for his boss but he is no where near in the right spot to be in a NFL GM role.  If Ralph cared about winning, he would bring in someone who actually knew the game of football.  Hell, I would make a better GM than Brandon. 

You want proof?  Instead of bringing in a wide receiver to give Trent Edwards a target to throw to, they put all their money, correction very little, on James Hardy, a second-round pick who barely sees the playing field.

I’ll give him credit for going after Tony Gonzalez but hey I give Tony credit too for realizing what us optimistic Bills fans couldn’t see, a terrible team that was nowhere close to being a contender, much less a playoff team.      

If the Bills want to actually win some games, Ralph is going to have to find a good coach who can fire up this team a little bit and keep them focused so they don’t go on losing skids.  

The Bills also need a knowledgeable football person upstairs in the GM role.  Look what someone like Parcells did in under one season with the Dolphins.  The Bills could turn around just as quick if someone upstairs realized what the Bills need and actually did something about it.  

Lastly, the Bills need an owner who cares about winning.  Hey Ralph, that doesn’t involve spending any money at all to fix.  If you have a guy who doesn’t care and just laughs it off after terrible losses, what kind of message does that send to your team?

It’s time for Ralph to commit to winning.  Hiring terrible coaches, GMs and not spending money that you have will keep you behind the rest of the NFL until you turn things around.

Sorry Ralph but no one is laughing with you on this one, you are just laughing at yourself.