Bills fire Jauron after dismal 3-6 start
By Jason La Canfora | NFL Network









The Buffalo Bills have fired coach Dick Jauron after directing the team to a 3-6 record.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is expected to become the Bills' interim head coach, a Bills source told NFL.com's Vic Carucci. The team said Jauron's replacement would be announced later. Jauron's successor is expected to come from the current staff and be on an interim basis only.

"I am announcing today that I am relieving Dick Jauron from his duties as our head coach, effective immediately," Bills owner Ralph Wilson said in a statement. "I have tremendous respect for Dick and thank him for all of his efforts during these past four years. While this was a very difficult decision, I felt that it is one that needed to be made at this time for the best interest of our team. We will now focus on moving forward and preparing for our game this week in Jacksonville."


Paul Spinelli / Associated Press
Dick Jauron couldn't help the Bills end their long playoff drought.

The move comes two days after Buffalo returned from a bye week and were beaten 41-17 by the Tennessee Titans. The Bills are averaging just over 15 points per game on an offense that acquired Terrell Owen this season but remains unsettled at quarterback. The defense is riddled with injuries, and has allowed an NFL-worst 173 yards rushing a game.

"I really don't have anything to say," was all Jauron would say when reached on his cell phone by The Associated Press.

The Bills play at Jacksonville on Sunday.

In just short of four seasons with the Bills, Jauron compiled a 24-33 record and failed to lead Buffalo to the playoffs. The Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999, tied with the Lions for the longest active streak for a non-expansion team.

Jauron is the first head coach fired in the middle of the season by the Bills since 1986 when Hank Bullough was fired after nine games with a 2-7 record. Bullough was replaced by former Chiefs head coach Marv Levy, who eventually led Buffalo to four straight Super Bowl appearances from 1990-93.

The Bills represented Jauron's third stint as a head coach in the NFL. Jauron served as head coach of the Chicago Bears from 1999-2003, and then as interim head coach of the Detroit Lions for the final five games of the 2005 season. Jauron's overall coaching record is 60-82, the higlight of his career coming in 2001 when his Bears finished 13-3 and claimed its first division championship since 1990.

Buffalo has now gone through four coaches since the end of the 2000 season, when Wade Phillips was dismissed. Gregg Williams was not rehired after his three-year contract expired, while Mike Mularkey abruptly resigned after a front-office shakeup following the 2005 season.

Jauron was hired by general manager Marv Levy, who took over the post following Tom Donahoe's dismissal. Jauron has been on the hotseat ever since last season, after he led the Bills to their third consecutive 7-9 finish.

Expressing a need for continuity, Wilson elected to retain Jauron. The Hall of Fame owner, however, noted that he was aware of Bills fans' dissatisfaction with the team, and warned that he wasn't going to be "complacent" in seeking improvements, particularly on offense.

Those improvements haven't come even after the team made a big splash in free agency by signing Terrell Owens to a one-year $6.5 million contract in March, days after the receiver was released by Dallas.

Owens hasn't provided a spark to an offense that has been undone by a young and inexperienced offensive line and poor play at quarterback, whether it's starter Trent Edwards or backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.



The Bills haven't generated 300 yards offense in eight of nine games this season, including their past seven. They also haven't had a quarterback generate 200 yards passing since Edwards had 230 yards in a 33-20 win over Tampa Bay in Week 2.

On Monday, defensive end Aaron Schobel questioned the Bills' lack of direction with seven games remaining in their season.

"It's embarrassing," said Schobel, the longest-tenured player on the Bills roster, a day after the loss at Tennessee. "I mean, we're technically, mathematically still in it, I guess, but it's like what ... are we doing here?"

Speaking within earshot of several Bills officials near the entrance of the locker room, Schobel expressed his frustration but stopped short in explaining what he thinks the franchise's problems are by saying: "That's about all I can say without saying what I want to say."

Owens was also upset following the latest loss during which he had an animated exchange with several coaches on the sideline