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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Jauron still has locker room's support


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills know their coach is in jeopardy of being sent to the unemployment line, and they want to do something about it Sunday by beating the New England Patriots in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Several players said Wednesday it's important to win for Dick Jauron because they want him to remain their coach.

"Definitely," Bills defensive tackle Marcus Stroud said. "Anytime you have a coach like Coach Jauron, you want to stand up and play hard for him, and if that's going to determine whether he'll be here next year or not, we're going to try to turn it up an extra notch and play that much better."

Shame they couldn't turn it up an extra notch for themselves and their fans over the past two months. Instead they went on a slide in which they lost seven out of eight games to fall out of the playoff hunt.

Jauron always has had the reputation for being a player's coach. Although he has a career record of 57-75 and has only one winning season to his credit (he was coach of the year for guiding the Chicago Bears to a 13-3 record in 2001) during his head coaching career, he's beloved by his players.

"I love Coach Jauron," Bills safety Donte Whitner said. "You ask any guy in this locker room, they will never have anything bad to say about Coach Jauron. He takes care of us well. He puts in a proper position to make plays and be successful on Sunday.

"Sometimes guys go out there and do their own things sometimes. It is not always the coach's fault. This is professional sports and in professional sports things don't always go your way. Any guy in this locker room you ask, they love Coach Jauron. He is a players coach, and I hope he is around here next year and years to come."

The Bills are guaranteed to not have a winning record for a fourth straight season, and this could be the third season in a row they finish 7-9 under Jauron. The Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999, when Wade Phillips was their coach.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson earlier this week said he still was evaluating whether Jauron would be back next year even though they signed him to a three-year contract extension.

"That's something we can't control," Stroud said. "That's on Mr. Wilson. He's the man with the money. He's the man that takes care of everything around here, and that's his decision to make. But as far as us going out there, we're going to go out there and give it our best effort and we want to go out with a winning effort."

Jauron was asked at his Wednesday news conference if it meant anything to him that his players wanted to win for him.

"Yes, it does," Jauron said.

He was aked if he could elaborate.

"No," he replied, "but thank you for asking."