Warning- Do not continue reading if you're bored of posts that point out the ineptitude of Dick Jauron and the borderline insane decision to bring him back for 2009. Choose to read draft articles if you wish. Personally, I'm unable to get hyped up about a draft under current team management, both on the sidelines and in the front office. In my honest opinion, Jauron's incompetence casts a shadow too large over this wretched franchise to look away from. I feel as if the context of how inept Dick Jauron is and how insane it was to bring him back for 2009 is the number one storyline for this franchise at this time. If you disagree, that's fine. "Diversity" is not "an old, old wooden ship". If you're tired of the topic simply move on to the multitude of cheery studies out there pertaining to which defensive backs Jauron and the inner circle will take in the draft come April. Personally, I don't have the stomach for it (yet).
In dwelling on how hopeless I feel about the upcoming season (while I get ready to watch the distant memory that is the Super Bowl), I figured I needed to look for context in searching for why I've lost all hope in this franchise. It's one thing to lose when you go out swinging, but I don't get that sense from the owner, to the front office, to Jauron, to his staff, to the players. Frankly, I understand the argument that the team is doomed from the outset because of Wilson, but let's be realistic. He's not selling the team (and I won't get into the ugly and morbid counterargument). Wilson is the Bills. The team needs to win in spite of him and dwelling on his presence is ridiculous because he's the one person in the organization who can't be traded, released, or fired. Speaking of fired, I also hate the front office setup. The "inner circle" is pathetic and the decision to replace Donahoe with Marv (a virtual legend in my esteem, mind you) set this franchise back even further, His lasting legacy as a GM is the creation of the inner circle, a laughingstock throughout the league. That being said, Wilson had the chance to bring in a real GM last offseason and he passed. With that, the only logical move to change this putrid product we've been forced to endure was with a new coach. In a fit of spite or frugality or hubris or some cardinal sin, Wilson defied logic and brought back the completely overmatched Dick Jauron. How historic was this slap in the face? Here's what I found:
I've been following the NFL since 1988. That's a decent sample size since this period now absorbs just about half the league's history since the merger in 1970. I tried to figure out objectively why I was so down on the franchise I've cared about so much since I was in the third grade. For context, I decided to look up how many head coaches that, like Jauron, have begun a tenure with three complete losing seasons in the 15 seasons since Buffalo last made a Super Bowl. (Full-blown free agency started following the 1992 season, so the end of the Bills Super Bowl run following the 1993 season marks a nice cutoff in both team and NFL history as the beginning of the NFL's age of parody). Here are the coaches who had losing records their first three years on the job:
Ted Marchibroda- Ravens (96-98)
Mike Ditka- Saints (97-99)
Dave Campo- Cowboys (00-02)
Dave McGinnis- Cardinals (01-03)
Dom Capers- Texans (02-04)
Dennis Green- Cardinals (04-06)
Mike Nolan- 49ers (05-07)
Rod Marinelli- Lions (06-08)
Dick Jauron- Bills (06-08)
That's it, folks. Only nine total head coaches since 1993 have completely failed by beginning a tenure with their team with three consecutive losing seasons. There have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 head coaching tenures in the NFL during this period and these nine were the most complete in their failure. That alone, would explain my being so overwhelmingly distraught with the state of this team. But here's where the situation gets even worse- Of all these failed tenures, only two of these head coaches were brought back for year four, like Jauron will be in 2009:
Dom Capers: 2005
Mike Nolan: 2008
Dom Capers finished out his failed tenure in Houston by bottoming out with a 2-14 campaign in 2005. Mike Nolan was brought back for 2008 and made it to midseason with a 2-5 record before the 49ers decided to breathe some fresh air into their franchsie. So in the era of free agency, which dates all the ay back to the days where Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Bruce Smith were in their prime, Jauron is only the 3rd coach to completely fail in his first three seasons and get an encore. Both times before, it only got worse.
You can call me pessimistic and I'll disagree. You can say I'm out to bash Dick Jauron and I'll disagree. I'm just at a loss that the Bills would slap their loyal fans in the face by bringing back this failure and delaying the reconstruction of the coaching staff (no matter their motive) and I'm looking for context. Looking at the modern NFL era, Dick Jauron's tenure in Buffalo has been a remarkable failure, but bringing him back for year four is, without a doubt, an historic blunder which will only makes things worse.