Status Quo in Buffalo: Retaining Jauron Is Right Move

Todd MorseAnalyst IDecember 31, 2008


There is going to be a lot of talk about Dick Jauron, Russ Brandon, and Ralph Wilson over the next few months. 


Bills fans need to stop dreaming the dream and accept the painful reality. Ralph Wilson, once a progressive maverick in the league, is now just another out of touch miser. 


There is a reason he has not been voted into the Hall of Fame. Wilson never believed in Buffalo. The city was his second choice in 1959, when he was turned down for a team in Miami, and the consistent extortion he commits on the area has inevitably fed into the fragile psyche of the community.


In the Bills history, there primarily was one successful run. From 1986-1999, the Bills were a flourishing league powerhouse. Many consider Wilson changing his philosophy the catalyst for this achievement. 


However, Bill Polian, John Butler, AJ Smith, and Marv Levy were all virtual unknowns when hired by Wilson, and it is not inconceivable to think the combination was stumbled upon through happenstance more than intelligence. The team was lucky they were in the pre-cap era and management was able to make salaries fit into Wilson’s pocketbook. 


Today’s reality is the same banal reality. The Bills are run by an owner with one sole focus—the bottom line. 


The difference between now and the 90’s is that the league has grown exponentially larger financially. It is no coincidence that the good teams have owners willing to spend, and possibly fail, for talent, and have a front office that is ahead of the curve. 


Nobody wants to work for Wilson. Buffalo is quite possibly the least desirable location for any legitimate front office employee, coaching candidate, coordinator, or free agent in the NFL. Luckily, there are only 32 teams in such a lucrative league and someone is willing to work for them.


Imagine being a free agent and being wooed by the Bills. They can’t spin the Toronto angle. It was, and is, a debacle in every way except for Wilson’s pocketbook. In the end, what player in his right mind would want to play seven home games instead of eight?


While it is hard to swallow the continuity line when the team is consistently unwatchable, there is something to be said for a coach and coaching staff who accept the organization’s limitations, and are willing to take the hits when the bad occurs. 


Jauron is not a good coach, but he is not a terrible coach either. I won’t play the “players play hard for him” card, because they don’t. The team is not talented, and an average to below average coach makes them worse, not better.   


Still, in this climate, they wouldn’t have hired anyone better. When the least desirable team in the league is competing with the Jets, Broncos, and Browns for coaches and coordinators, they will not win out.


Looking for the team to fire Jauron is asking for change for the sake of change. 


It isn’t easy to accept the writing on the wall, especially when the writing on the wall has your phone number as the good time. In business, we learn that change can be good for business, or it can be incredibly detrimental. 


Keeping Jauron is the easy way out, but the lesser evil was chosen.