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Ding Dong, The Dick (Jauron) Is Dead
November 20, 2009 - John Whittaker
Ding dong, the Dick is dead.
Two years too late, Dick Jauron has been canned by Ralph Wilson, who apparently just woke up from a Rip Van Winkle nap.
I'm not a Bills fan, not even a little bit, but this is great news for you suffering souls who actually like to watch the Bills.
Jauron was a horrible coach. After four years, you had no idea what type of team the Bills were -- offensive or defensive, run or pass, smashmouth or finesse. His clock management was horrid, his choice of assistant coaches putrid, his inability to instill discipline incredibly evident in the false start penalties that hounded his offensive lines. In the last two years, players have left the Bills to find starting jobs elsewhere - players the Bills were unable to properly deploy to field a winning team.
Dick Jauron's time with the Bills is over, but his impact on the franchise will linger like smelly dog farts.
1. It's been 10 years since the Bills made the playoffs. There are fourth-graders in Buffalo who have seen every football season end in late December.
2. The NFL is likely to have a season with no salary cap - but the Bills will be playing with Ralph Wilson's salary cap, making the Bills the football equivalent of the Kansas City Royals.
3. The Bills are on the verge of fan apathy. Every time Wilson does the Toronto two-step, every time the team starts out with promise and collapses at the end of the year, every time a big move doesn't pan out, the fans stay a little further back. After you've been kicked in the testicular region enough times, you start wearing a cup.
4. There are serious personnel issues a new coach has to deal with. Trent Edwards hasn't shown an ability to stay healthy or consistently throw the ball to open receivers. The Bills spent a first-round pick on J.P. Losman and promptly kicked him to the curb. Brian Brohm, a highly touted player at Louisville, was just signed from Green Bay's practice squad. Look at this list of quarterbacks in the last 10 years, also known as the day Jim Kelly retired: Rob Johnson (the surfer), Doug Flutie (the short guy), Kelly Holcomb (the ex-Brown), Travis Brown (the should have been a Brown), Billy Jo Hobart (the guy who didn't study the playbook), Alex Van Pelt (guy who looked like the Pillsbury Dough Boy), Drew Bledsoe (one good half-season, three years of sacks and interceptions), Losman (hated by tribemates more than Russell on Survivor), Edwards (one more concussion away from thinking he's Batman), Ryan Fitzpatrick (definition of career backup) and now Brian Brohm (good luck, pal).
Who's in charge of scouting for the Bills, Simon Cowell?
Buffalo has to figure out whether Marshawn Lynch or Fred Jackson better fit their offensive scheme - they're both good running backs, but they do different things well. If you want to be a no-huddle team, then Lynch probably isn't your guy. If you want to be a two tight end power running team, Jackson probably isn't a good option.
Plus, the Bills need at least one big defensive tackle, weakside linebackers who can run, a tall cornerback and at least one safety.
With all those strikes against them, what reputable coach/general manager is coming to town? Let's face it, Bill Polian isn't walking through that door to clean up the mess. Mike Shanahan or Mike Holmgren is just as likely to take the Dallas job, with the almost certain Super Bowl appearances that come with it, rather than rebuild the Bills. Bill Cowher has to see more attractive offers in his future. And Jon Gruden is staying with ESPN to call Monday Night Football games. There aren't a lot of good options for the Bills right now.
Unfortunately for you, the Whitless Wonder has no answers for you, Bills fans. The Bills have me flummoxed. After seeing it done so right for so long with the Patriots, all I can say is don't go for it on fourth and two from your own 29 yard line.
If they can't land someone from the Holmgren/Cowher/Shanahan platter, the Bills might find themselves stuck with someone from the Jim Haslett/Denny Green/Jim Fassel/Brian Billick division. I think Bills fans have seen how that's played out in the past with the walking nightmare known as the Dick Jauron Era.
At least the Sabres are off to a good start, right?
On to the picks:
Cleveland at Detroit: In case anyone didn't see this coming a mile away, the News Cat brings you the News Cat's Cat Poop Salad Game of the Week. Both of these team's fans stopped serving nachos and brats during their team's games long ago - it's been nothing but the cat poop salad for at least five years. The Whitless Wonder finds it hillarious that Detroit could win its second game of the season, and neither of its wins will have been shown in the Detroit TV market. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Detroit Lions (who should beat Cleveland by at least 10 points).
Atlanta at NY Giants: In a must-win game for both teams, the Whitless Wonder is clueless. These teams are a carbon copy of each other, and have you ever seen what happens when you try to copy crap? I'll take the Falcons because they're running the ball well.
Washington at Dallas: How did I not see Dallas' crap-a-thon against the Packers coming? If they lose to Dallas, Jerry Jones might fire Wade Phillips on the spot. I think Wade keeps his job, at least until the end of the season, by beating the Redskins.
San Francisco at Green Bay: I've ripped on the Packers defense all season, and then they go out and almost shut out the Cowboys. I've ripped Aaron Rodgers, and he plays an almost perfect game. I've been on and off these teams' bandwagons like Dylan McKay hopping onto and off of the sobriety bandwagon. I'm taking the 49ers, but I have no justification for the pick.
Indianapolis at Baltimore: For the first four weeks of the season, I would have picked Baltimore in the upset. Not anymore. The Patriots outplayed the Colts for the first 50 minutes of Sunday night's game and couldn't close the deal. I'm officially petrified of Peyton Manning in the fourth quarter - a more stunning career redefinition than Tiffani Thiessen (from Kelly Kapowski to Valerie Malone) and Dustin Diamond (from Screech to porn star and reality TV show terror) combined. Peyton Manning as Mr. Clutch? I never would have guessed. The Ravens are too up and down to win this game.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City: Nice job by Kansas City of ridding itself of problem players, culminating in the release of Larry Johnson last week. If only the Chiefs were as good on the field as they've been off it in the last six months. Pittsburgh will easily handle the Chiefs.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay: Does it look to anyone else like the weight of being undefeated is starting to wear on the Saints? They're still winning games, but it's getting harder and harder. Bad teams are hanging in against them, which makes me think Tampa Bay covers the point spread on Sunday. They won't play well enough to upset the Saints, but it'll be a 12-16 point game.
Buffalo at Jacksonville: Five weeks ago, who would have thought Jacksonville would be 5-4? Even more impressive, they have a winning record even though they've been outscored on the season by almost 50 points. With all the Bills' problems, I don't see them mounting much of a challenge against the Jags, who are starting to look a little frisky.
Seattle at Minnesota: The Whit likes the Vikes. That's all I've got to say about that.
Arizona at St. Louis: Kurt Warner has righted the ship and has the Cardinals sitting at 6-3 atop a horrible division. The wild ride continues against the Rams.
NY Jets at New England: If the Jets want to save their season, they'll have to sweep a ticked off Patriots team to do it. I don't see that happening. Two thoughts from Sunday night's game - Laurence Maroney should never get another goal line carry for the Patriots. Forget the fourth-and-2 call in the fourth quarter. It's a nonfactor if Maroney doesn't fumble on the Colts 1 yard line. Even a field goal there ices the game. BenJarvis GreenEllis should get all goal line carries from now on. Second, if a few of the Patriots defenders don't come out and blow up the Jets, after Bill Belichick showed an appalling lack of faith in the unit in the fourth quarter on Sunday night, well, color me shocked.
San Diego at Denver: This is my game of the day. If Josh McDaniels learned anything from Bill Belichick, it's how to get a team ready for a division rival. And, with San Diego breathing down the Broncos' necks, this game is a must-win for McDaniels. If Kyle Orton was playing, I'd pick the Broncos in a heartbeat (I can't believe I just typed that). I'm not sold on Chris Simms in his first start in two years, though, especially not with LaDanian Tomlinson hooked up to the Juvenation Machine and Philip Rivers being Philip Rivers. I think the Broncos can keep it close, but San Diego should take over first place in the AFC West.
Cincinnati at Oakland: After coming up big against Pittsburgh last week, the Bengals have to guard against a letdown against the Raiders, who feel so good about the JaMarcus Russell Experiment (sounds like a good name for a hippie, pot-smoking jam band) that Bruce Gradkowski is starting on Sunday. Picks rule number 1: Never pick a team starting Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback, unless he's playing JaMarcus Russell. Since Russell and Gradkowski are on the same team, well, sorry Raiders fans. Your team sucks.
Philadelphia at Chicago: So much for Jay Cutler carrying the Bears to the playoffs this season. He's crazier than Andy Dick. As long as Andy Reid stays out of the way, I don't see the Eagles losing to the Bears.
Tennessee at Houston: Three weeks ago, this looked like the stinker of the Monday Night Football lineup. Now, with the Titans hooked up to the suddenly souped up Vince Young bandwagon and Houston trying to make a run at Indianapolis, this game is intriguing. Tennessee could move within a game of the Texans in the AFC Central, Houston could cement its reputation as a talented but streaky team. I'm going with the hot hand in this one and picking the Titans in the Jim Riggs Bowl.
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