TheRunDown: Every Tom, Dick and Harry

The Rundown
A weekly feature from the Buffalo Bills Review where we’ll collect some of the headlines from One Bills Drive and offer our take on the latest Bills’ news.

Bills Coach Dick JauronI’d Like To Introduce…
When the announcement was made this week that the Bills had selected Dick Jauron as their new head coach, there was no shortage of “second opinions”. Most people have felt that there were several better options for the new head man, and have voiced their opinion accordingly.

Bills’ GM Marv Levy and owner Ralph Wilson, who have named themselves Buffalo’s “Golden Boys”, are under some fairly intense public scrutiny after passing up coaches like Mike Sherman, who has a very impressive record as a head coach, and local favorite, Jim Haslett. Levy said in a press conference this Monday, “You can’t just look at the win/loss record.” That may be true, but at the moment, all Bills’ fans want is a better won/loss record. The fans are tired of losing.

To Jauron’s credit, he comes in here knowing the situation, and seems to have a plan to correct it. He plans to work with the personnel who are here, optimizing an offensive and defensive scheme around them, instead of coming in with a new plan that all the players must fit themselves into. He also plans to assemble a team of assistant coaches with NFL experience who can have free reign over their designated area.

In addition to his plans for the team, he is aware that there will be a higher degree of public scrutiny of his work than normal, due to a string of seasons in Buffalo with no playoff wins or even appearances. Jauron said one big thing he learned from his last head coaching experience with the Chicago Bears from 1999-2003 was, “You just need to win.”

Fan reaction has been fairly strong to this selection, as evidenced by a comment left on a recent post here at the BBR. The Drake has recommended a visit to And our weekly poll asks the question, “What do you think of the new head coach?”, offering you a chance to voice your opinion.

However the Bills arrived at this decision, it is now history. Jauron is the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills, and he is assembling his team of assistants. Here’s hoping a coach “in the mold of Marv Levy” can bring the Bills back to the winning ways we have known from the 90s, and perhaps even end the winless drought in the Super Bowl!

Further Reading.. (1/23) – Bills Name Dick Jauron Head Coach
Buffalo News (1/23) – Bills Don’t Capitalize on Good Fortune (1/23) – Jauron Has Player Support
Buffalo News (1/24) – Jauron Raises Bar, Quietly

Bills Hire Assistant Coaches
The Bills announced this week the hiring of two assistant coaches following the selection of the new head coach. Steve Kollar was named the Bills new Defensive Line coach, and Steve Fairchild was hired as the new Offensive Coordinator. Both men were most recently assistant coaches with the St. Louis Rams. Kollar replaces Tim Krumrie, and has an impressive 17 years of NFL coaching experience. He also played defensive line with the Bengals and the Buccaneers for 8 years.

Fairchild has been the offensive coordinator for St. Louis for two years under head coach Mike Martz. Running the “The Greatest Show on Turf”. Before Mike Mularkey resigned as Bills coach, he was pursuing Fairchild for the role of Offensive Coordinator. Fairchild began his NFL coaching career in 2001 as the Buffalo Bills running backs coach under then head coach Gregg Williams. He is excited to return and being his new role with the Bills.

The Bills are seeking to hire Green Bay assistant Jim Bates as their new Defensive Coordinator, though no official decision has been made there.

Stay tuned for further developments out of Orchard Park.

Further Reading.. (1/24) – Bills Hire Kollar as Defensive Line Coach (1/25) – Bills Hire Fairchild as Offensive Coordinator

Another Bill is Headed to the Pro Bowl
This week AFC Pro Bowl coach Mike Shanahan seleceted Bills’ long snapper Mike Schneck as his “need player” for his Pro Bowl roster. Schneck will join his teammate, Punter Brian Moorman on the flight to Hawaii. The two will be the teams only representatives in the Pro Bowl this year, despite some fans thinking LB London Fletcher and CB Terrence McGee were deserving of the honor as well.

Further Reading.. (1/26) – Schneck Accepts Second Offer to Hawaii

Bits and Pieces
In other random news…

  • Bills fans are encouraged to voice their opinions over the coming weeks in the 12th Man Awards. This week, vote for this year’s MVP.
  • With a sizeable pool of very talented underclassmen entering this year’s draft, Larry Felser of the Buffalo News feels the Bills will be able to “find some treasures”.

That’s a wrap for the this edition of TheRunDown. If you have any Bills news from this week, or comments on stuff we covered here, please add your comments below!

The first off-season show will be posted this Monday, Jan 30th. The BBR Hotline is still open, and your comments are welcome! Call (716) 989-4180, or email Join the fun! Buffalo Bills Review: A show by Bills fans, for Bills fans.


Dick Jauron Named Bills Head Coach

ORCHARD PARK, NY – The Bills today announced the hiring of Dick Jauron as the 14th head coach in the history of the Bills franchise. At a 2:30pm press conference, owner Ralph Wilson, GM Marv Levy, and Jauron all addressed the media, excited about the possibilities ahead. Jauron was a member of the Bills coaching staff as a defensive backs coach in 1985, his first year coaching in the NFL. He returns 21 years later with his most recent head coaching experience as the interim head coach in Detroit. Jauron took over in December for former Lions coach Steve Mariucci.

In 2001, Jauron was the AP Coach of the Year with the Chicago Bears, with a 13-3 record that year. The Bears had not been to the playoffs for 7 years before that, nor even had a winning season for 6 years before that.

Ralph Wilson joked about Jauron’s college background. He is a Yale grad and Hall of Famer Marv Levy, now Jauron’s new boss, is a Harvard grad. Traditionally, those alum do not fraternize. There may be an exception in this case.

The press asked several questions about what Jauron intended to do with JP Losman and the unstable QB position with the Bills. Jauron’s response was, “Every position we have will be open to competition.” He also said the first thing they will do is to assemble the coaching staff. After that, they will build a scheme around the players who are currently here, and those whom they will bring in.

When Levy was asked how they selected Jauron over Mike Sherman, who has an outstanding 53-27 record as a head coach in the NFL. Levy replied, “Record alone does not tell it. There are many more factors involved.” Levy repeated that of all six candidates that were interviewed, Jauron was the best for the head coaching position. Levy mentioned that when he came to Buffalo, he had a losing record as a head coach. The Buffalo News quoted Bill Polian as saying that Jauron was a coach very much in the mold of a Marv Levy. The Bills are hoping that is the case. You can never have enough Hall of Fame coaches.

Levy mentioned that both he and Wilson arrived at a consensus on this selection. They, “discussed all of the options, and everything seemed to point to Jauron,” said Levy.

Time will tell whether this is the man who will help turn around a franchise who has been absent from the playoffs for so long. But as of today, for better or worse, the Bills head coach is Dick Jauron.


TheRunDown: Coaches, Players and the HOF

The Rundown
Welcome to the first edition of “The Rundown”. This will be a weekly feature on the Buffalo Bills Review website where we’ll collect some of the headlines from One Bills Drive from the week, and offer our take on the latest Bills’ news.

Coaching Carousel
Obviously, with the news of Mike Mularkey’s resignation, the Bills have been hard at work interviewing head coaching candidates. So far they have interviewed:

The talk around this area is mostly bewilderment at the Bills not interviewing either Ted Cottrell or Jim Haslett, two coaches with ties to the organization. Personally, I’d like to see either guy in here. Ted was a great defensive coordinator here, and Jim Haslett has said before that he’s wanted to coach here for the Bills. It’s uncertain why the Bills have chosen not to interview those two guys.

As for the coaches they have brought in here, it seems Mike Sherman might be the best candidate with not only an impressive record as a head coach at Green Bay (53-27), but he also has some experience as a General Manager, which might be beneficial as the new Bills GM is lacking there. He has had some experience in a similar role in the CFL with Montreal, but not in the NFL. Dick Jauron was head coach for the Chicago Bears from 1999-2003, during which he was awarded the Associated Press Coach of the Year award (2001). Most recently he took over the interim head coaching job in Detroit when the Lions fired Steve Mariucci. Jauron also has Buffalo ties as he was the Bills’ defensive backs coach in 1985.

James Lofton is currently the receivers coach with the San Diego Chargers. There is speculation within the local media that Lofton was brought in to satisfy the league mandate that an organization must interview at least one “minority” candidate for a vacant head coaching position. Even if that was the case, it’s nice for Lofton, who is now receiving other interview for coaching positions around the league. Always good to see former Bills doing well. 🙂

The Bills have also interviewed special teams coach Bobby April, and just today they are interviewing former Texans coach Dom Capers. Like Jauron, Capers also has 20 years of NFL coaching experience.

It is still very uncertain at this point who the Bills will select as their next head coach, but a decision should be made very soon. Last week, Bills GM Marv Levy was ruled out as a possible candidate. There was great speculation there as well that the 80 year old Hall of Fame coach might return to the side lines where he took the team to four straight Super Bowls from 1990-1993.

The Bills will likely continue to interview possible head coaches over the next week or two, but look for a decision to be announced soon, so that the new head man can begin planning for next season, and assembling his support staff.

Further Reading…

Free Agent Signings
The Bills announced the signing of several free agents yesterday (1/19). Most of the players were assigned to the NFL Europe. Several of the players were with the Bills last year on the practice squad. There are no players with significant experience on this list. There are some with impressive college credentials. Fred Jackson was the United Indoor Football league’s MVP last season. But, I’d have to say these are not “major announcements”.

For the complete list of yesterday’s signings, click here.

Thurman Thomas among Hall of Fame Finalists
This doesn’t qualify as “this week’s news”, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless. Bills RB Thurman Thomas has made the list of 15 finalists for induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. This is the first year that Thomas is eligible for such an honor. His career with the Bills was outstanding, leading the league in total yards from scrimmage several years in a row and even garnered the MVP award for his performance in the 1991 season.

If ever a rookie entrant were deserving, BBR says Thurman Thomas should be in Canton this summer.

Further Reading…

That’s a wrap for the first edition of TheRunDown. If you have any Bills news from this week, or comments on stuff we covered here, please add your comments below!

The first off-season show will be posted on Monday, Jan 30th. The BBR Hotline is still open, and your comments are welcome! Call (716) 989-4180, or email Join the fun! Buffalo Bills Review: A show by Bills fans, for Bills fans.


Weekly Column

I don’t have an official name for it yet, but I wanted to let you know of a new feature that will appear regularly here at I had planned to begin today, but with the Mularkey news, I figured that was probably sufficient for today. 🙂

Starting next Friday (1/20/06) we’ll be doing a weekly round up of Bills news and happenings and posting that along with links to articles (where available) and my take on various things in the world of Bills. You can receive these updates (as well as anything else posted to this site) by subscribing to the XML feed in the side bar to your right. Click on the little XML box, and then copy that URL to your favorite XML/RSS reader. (e-mail us if you need further assistance…)

We don’t have a name yet for such a weekly offering, so if you are creative and have suggestions, just add your comments below and we’ll take your recommendations into consideration.

All for now. See ya next Friday!


Mike Mularkey Resigns

Mike MularkeyIn a surprise announcement Thursday, head coach Mike Mularkey announced his resignation from the position he has held for two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Mularkey had three years left on his contract which would have paid him several million dollars. Apparently he has voluntarily forefeited that with this resignation.

Bills’ owner, Ralph Wilson, expressed his shock at the quick turn around from the organization’s affirmation of Mularkey as well as the coach’s own apparent commitment to the team. Just last week, Mularkey was reaffirmed by Wilson and new GM Marv Levy as the team’s head coach. Reporters and Wilson alike seemed baffled by the very quick change in thinking.

“He seemed very firm in his decision,” Wilson told the press, regarding Mularkey’s decision and their subsequent attempts to talk him out of such a decision.

There are a few names being tossed around to replace Mularkey such as former Bills’ LB Jim Haslett, who was fired this season as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Wilson reported that he and Levy have not spent much time discussing the specifics yet of who might be likely candidates for the vacant post.

Reporters asked Levy how he felt about this first week of being the new general manager for the Bills, and Marv’s response was, “When I took the position, Mr Wilson said it would be exciting…” He continued by saying that this is just a normal part of life in the NFL.

Both Levy and Wilson reported that many of the current assistant coaches will remain in their posts with the Bills. They were not specific about who would stay or go, but assured the press that many coaches would continue to coach for the Bills next season. Levy and Wilson also said quite firmly that he (Levy) would not be returning to the sideline to coach the team. (Though, with a bit of badgering from the reporters in the room, Marv did allow a little room for that option.)

To many Bills fans, this resignation is a late Christmas present. Many fans have been calling for Mularkey’s head after the very disssapointing 5-11 season his team put together in 2005. The verdict is still out on whether this will be good for the Bills football team, or not. Change is good, but there has been nearly wholesale change at One Bills Drive in the first few weeks of this off-season.


Marv Levy Returns to Buffalo

ORCHARD PARK, NY – In an expected announcement today, Ralph Wilson announced that former Bills coach and member of the NFL Hall of Fame, Marv Levy will be taking over the role of Vice-President of Football Operations for the Buffalo Bills. The press conference was the third in 24 hours from One Bills Drive. Wilson said yesterday that he intended to “take back the presidency (of the team)”, and he appears to be following through with some swift, early changes in this off season.

There was some speculation that Marv Levy would assume the role of General Manager for the Bills, but both Levy and Wilson emphasized that the job will be focused on football, and will be separated from the business administration, and Levy added he won’t be concerned with “fixing holes in the parking lot.”

“We’re bringing Marv back,” said Wilson, “so that he can bring a stability to the Buffalo Bills, which I am sure he can. Inject some stability to the organization, bring everybody together. He did that with his football team, they worked together as a team or else they would not have been able to do what they did.”

Levy took over the head coaching job for the Buffalo Bills mid-way through the 1986 season, and posted a 2-5 record. The team improved to 7-8 the following year, and then went 12-4 the following year, beginning a run for the Bills of six AFC East championships starting in 1988. And then of course, Levy’s Bills went to an unprecedented four-straight Super Bowls. A feat that has not been, and may never be repeated.

Wilson and Levy both were cracking jokes about their age. Ralph Wilson is 87 years young, and Levy will be 81 this year. As he introduced Levy, Wilson said, “I’m very proud to bring some youth to this organization.” Levy followed that up by saying he’s “an 80-year old rookie and looking forward to it with unbounded enthusiasm. Not just to get back into the football world, but to do it with the Buffalo Bills.”

“Our goal is not just to get back to the Super Bowl,” said Levy, “but to win it. And win it as quickly as possible.”

The move will hopefully bring a winning, team attitude to an organization that has become used to losing. As we have termed it on the Buffalo Bills Review – “Bengalitis”. Levy should bring not only enthusiasm, but aged wisdom, and a levity (pun intended) to a team that has been down for so long. Look for a rejuvinated Buffalo Bills squad in 2006.

Rejuvinated by an 80-yr-old rookie.


Buffalo News Article

Hey Bills Fans. Intersting take on yesterday’s changes at One Bills Drive

(Posted by DRKMSTR)


2005 BBR Award Winners!

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Check out the winners of the first annual Buffalo Bills Review Awards!


Donahoe… GONE!

ORCHARD PARK, NY – Well, it’s official. As of 2:30pm Wednesday, Ralph Wilson annouced that Tom Donahoe has been fired as the Bills President and General Manager. Wilson said Donahoe’s replacement will be announced shortly at a press conference in the near future.

In the question and answer time following Wilson’s comments, reporters peppered Mr. Wilson with questions about former Bills coach Marv Levy’s potential involvement in the organization next year. His response was a bit hesitant, saying, “Coach Levy… I can’t tell you right now who [the new GM is] going to be.” That obviously fuels speculation that Levy might be named to some oversight role of the organization, General Manager or otherwise.

“This is difficult for me,” explained Wilson, “because Tom and I are good friends. When Tom came here… he … had to release many of our old veteran players. He did a great job. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anybody work as hard as Tom. He’s here at the building at 5:00 in the morning. He takes trip to colleges in the fall to scout players for the team. He flies back to Buffalo for the games on Sunday. He has worked very, very hard, and I thank him for it.”

Wislon was visibly frustrated with the results of the 2005 season obviously, and he mentioned that there had not been very much progress over the past 5 years of Donahoe’s tenure as Bills’ GM. He made very clear that he takes all the blame for any poor performance of the team, and said, “I take responsiblity for this organization, and if there are any bullets to be fired, I want you to fire them at me. However… there’s going to be a restructuring of the organization. On the football side, and the administration side of the club.”

Wilson closed his opening comments by saying, “I want to apologize to the fans of Buffalo – who are great fans – who we haven’t done a very good job for over the last couple years – who we haven’t given a very good product – and I want to apologize for that.” He also apologized for some security personnel taking team protest signs from fans. He said, “That is not the policy of the Buffalo Bills,” and later added emphatically, “I checked on [who it was that made that happen] and it was somebody in this building, but it was NOT ME!”

As far as the coach Mike Mularkey is concerned, Wilson said, “Mike Mularkey and I have had a visit and we’ve talked over what is best for the team and we’re going to continue to talk about it annd there will be a decision made very soon.” There was no definite time table mentioned, but Mr. Wilson seemed to hint that any decision regarding Mularkey’s future with the team would be within a week or so.

During the questions and answer period, Wilson raised his voice a bit as he commented on possible candidates for the role Donahoe had filled the past five years, saying, “I am taking back the presidency. I am going to be the president, and I am going to be much more active than I have been in the past five years!”

Look for more restructuring in the coming weeks from One Bills Drive. We haven’t seen the end of this yet. And if we’re lucky, we might be seeing a few familiar faces around the Bills’ organization in 2006.