The expression of "stepping up his game" is reserved only for players, usually. Buffalo Bills coach Dick Jauron is a player's coach and therefore is subject to the same sayings that players hear on a daily basis.
So how can coach Jauron "step up his game?"
Quick history lesson on Jauron: Exceptional athlete at Yale and still holds several school records (16 consecutive 100-yard rushing games). Jauron began his coaching career with the Buffalo Bills as a defensive backs coach.
As an NFL head coach, Jauron has compiled a career .426 percent winning record while being named coach of the year in 2001; a stark contrast?
So which image is the real Jauron?
I would answer that question by asking how many .400 percent career NFL coaches have been cast aside in the NFL coaching ranks, and of those, how many have earned the title of Coach of the Year?
Last season was probably more difficult for Jauron then all his other coaching seasons put together. It was a coaching clinic 101. The catastrophic injury to Kevin Everett, the incredible amount of injuries to his young team, a raging blizzard deciding the Bills' playoffs fate, and an old-fashioned QB controversy to keep the media-pot stirring.
Through it all, Jauron kept his composure and commitment to his players and coaching staff, while taking many bullets during the press conferences.
It's hard not to notice that the players seem to take their queue from Jauron; like a team leader. The NE Patriots game in Buffalo was the worst performance last year by the Bills' team, after Jauron publicly admired New England in a star-struck tone.
Coach Jauron's best game was a very difficult situation in Washington (Sean Taylor's death) in rainy conditions. Jauron was very assertive and professional in trying times, and his team responded with a gutsy victory.
Hopefully coach Jauron doesn't get caught up in the fad of "icing the kicker". His own kicker said that he doesn't mind the extra practice kick. The right call will be applauded the next day, but the wrong one will be questioned for the rest of the season. It's a 50-50 proposition; let the kicker call the flip.
Another issue with Jauron is coaching until the clock reads zeros. Nothing irritates a blue-collar fanbase more then "punching out" early. Jobs with punch clocks don't allow leaving early.
So when coach Jauron let's his players walk off the field (30-60 seconds left) without even attempting for a long score or a lucky break, it hits close to home.
Coach Jauron and his maturing coaching staff look to reap the rewards of a very difficult season last year. This should allow Jauron to become more assertive publicly about his talented team and their potential success; which sets the tone for a huge Bills season.
When a reporter asks Coach Jauron what his favorite show is to relax with?
Tell them 60 Minutes, coach. 60 Minutes.