Buffalo Bills fans have selected the roster. Now it's time to find the leader of the Buffalo Bills 2000s All-Decade squad. Every non-interim head coach within the last ten years is listed.
It's hard taking over for a legend. That's exactly what Phillips did when he was elevated from defensive coordinator to replace Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy in 1998. Technically speaking, Phillips is the only Bills coach to lead the team to the playoffs in the decade. It was a game that ended poorly on January 8, 2000, in Nashville, Tennessee. Phillips only coached one full season during the decade, and his record in 2000 prompted Ralph Wilson to fire the second-generation head coach after an 8-8 season. The team was outscored 350-315 in his one season, but ranked third in yards allowed and yardage differential. It's tragic, but Phillips' .500 winning percentage is the best of any coach in the decade. Williams was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as head coach in 2007, making the playoffs in two of his first three years there.
The defensive coordinator of that Titans team that defeated the Bills would take over for Phillips a little over one year later. Williams' toughest task was transitioning from the 3-4 defense, a system run by the Bills for over a decade, to the 4-3 defense. The result was a 3-13 record in his inaugural season, with Alex Van Pelt as his primary starting quarterback. To give the offense a shot in the arm, the team acquired Drew Bledsoe, and the Bills improved to 8-8 in Williams' second season. Instead of taking a step forward, the team fell back to 6-10 in 2003, and Williams wasn't retained. His teams were outscored 1,060-887, a difference of 173 points, or almost 58 points per season. The defensive overhaul was successful, as the Bills ranked second in team defense in Williams' last year as coach, but the offense was 30th out of 32 teams. His .354 winning percentage is the lowest of any Bills coach in the decade. Williams won a Super Bowl ring as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints in 2009.
After the failures of Williams to provide any semblance of an offense, general manager Tom Donahoe looked to a familiar face when he hired Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey in 2004. He instantly turned the offense around, and the Bills jumped to seventh in points scored while the defense remained second thanks to Mularkey's retention of most of the defensive staff. The Bills climbed 14 spots to sixth in point differential, but in the final game of the season, needing only a win to clinch a playoff spot, the team fell to a Steelers team with nothing to gain and playing primarily backups. He won just under 44% of his games as head coach. Mularkey is the only head coach from the decade with a positive point differential: 666 for to 651 against. He is currently the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.
Jauron was the longest-tenured coach in the decade, having remained on the sidelines for 57 games. Hired by GM Marv Levy following the 2005 season, Jauron's teams were marginally better defensively than Mularkey's final season in Buffalo, while the offense regressed. During every one of Jauron's years in Buffalo, the Bills were in the bottom quarter of the league in offensive yards and yardage differential. The team also never made it above 23rd in points scored, and ultimately, Jauron was fired during the 2009 season. His teams scored 1,011 points against 1,217 allowed, a difference of 206 points in just over three and a half seasons. That averages to just under 58 points per season, ranking him the worst in the decade in that category. Ultimately, he was only able to win 42% of his games as Bills head coach. Following the 2009 season, Jauron was hired as the defensive backs coach in Philadelphia.
Fewell can't be held responsible for his time as Bills head coach. He had little say over the final roster, and therefore won't be included in the poll. He ended up 3-4 finishing out the string in 2009 for a .429 winning percentage after being promoted from defensive coordinator. He is currently the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.
Leave your voting rationale in the comments section. We are in the final stretch of the All-Decade team. We'll choose the team of the decade next followed by the player of the decade before recapping the entire series.