Thursday, February 19, 2009
Jauron understands Bills fans' ire
By Tim Graham
INDIANAPOLIS -- Often criticized by Buffalo Bills fans for his emotionless demeanor, coach Dick Jauron revealed Thursday morning he's not detached from their annoyance with him.
Jauron, at Lucas Oil Stadium for the annual scouting combine, spoke for the first time since the Bills finally acknowledged the three-year contract extension he signed during the season and announced he would be retained.
Neither decision went over well with Bills fans. And the normally stone-faced head coach admitted he's not oblivious to what they think of him.
"I don't know how you do it," Jauron said. "You can't not hear, just like you can't not read negative things that are written. They're written when you lose. The only way to make everybody happy is to win. That's what we all want. We all want the same thing."
The Bills have gone 7-9 in each of their three seasons under Jauron.
"I understand their feelings are negative," he said. "I'm a fan. I certainly have teams I pull for, and the Buffalo Bills are at the top of the list. When we don't win, I'm not particularly happy."
The Bills have missed the playoffs nine straight seasons, and 2008 was the most indigestible of those seasons. They charged to a 5-1 start and looked a surefire playoff team before dropping seven of their next eight and eight of their last 10. Making matters worse, the Bills went 0-6 against the AFC East.
In ESPN.com's NFL coach approval ratings, Jauron plummeted from a high of 95 percent in October to 8 percent in Week 14. His final rating was 13 percent.
"In 2008, because we got off to such a good start, the expectations were huge," Jauron said. "We just couldn't sustain it."
Jauron came under fire from fans and the media for his in-game decisions, particularly wasting timeouts, not properly managing the clock and always deferring when winning coin flips.
"Clearly, I have to get them better prepared and make some better game-time decisions," Jauron said.
Asked to elaborate, he added, "As a coaching staff, we have to get more efficient in terms of our communication. ... Game-time decisions, whenever they don't work, they're the wrong decision. You'd like to have them work. Hopefully, the ball will bounce our way a little more often."
Tim Graham covers the AFC East for ESPN.com.
You can't not hear, just like you can't not read negative things that are written. They're written when you lose. The only way to make everybody happy is to win.
-- Dick Jauron