I Don’t Know Dick

Posted on September 14, 2009 by Jeff Nixon

It is hard to imagine what it would take for Dick Jauron and the Buffalo Bills to win their opener tonight at New England, but it would help if the head coach put a little fire and imagination into the game plan. The fans in Buffalo have waited too long to see another 7-9 season.  What is interesting to me is that players themselves still seem to have a lot of confidence in this guy. So maybe I just don’t know Dick.

As a former player, I was privy to what happened in our team meetings where the head coach would give us pats on the back one day and fire and brimstone the next.  I was lucky to have a very motivational and inspirational head coach.  In our closed door meetings, Chuck Knox used to tell us “You’re never as bad as the press makes you out be……and you’re never as good as they make you out to be.”  He was right.  But one of the hardest things for a player to do is forget about the last bad play, or the last bad game, or the last bad season.

These Bills players need to get a bad case of Alzheimer’s….and fast.

This is where a keen head coach also needs to be a good psychiatrist.  Keeping players on an even keel through a 16-game schedule is a tough chore, but a good coach knows when and how to fire up the troops. Chuck had the ability to make us feel like it was us against the world. When game time rolled around we had a big chip on our shoulder and couldn’t wait for someone to try and knock it off. Chuck was the kind of coach that made you feel confident going into battle. He was the General leading the charge…. willing to die for us.  

Maybe Dick is telling the players something in those meetings that inspires them too.  Maybe he’s got a bag of tricks up his sleeve that he hasn’t shown us yet.  I hope he does, because I can’t bear to watch his “Deer in the headlights”, “fish out-of-water”, “Michael Jackson zombie-eyed” face for another season ……unless of course they are winning.        

Here are some things I hope Dick knows:

♦ The key to beating N.E. is by getting into the head of Tom Brady. This is how the New York Giants beat N.E. in the Super Bowl—By sacking and harassing Brady early in the game Brady goes from great to just good.  The Bills must throw caution to the wind and blitz early and often.  Obviously this could backfire as it puts the cornerbacks in one-on-one situations with guys like Randy Moss and Wes Welker.  That’s still better than the alternative….letting Brady get comfortable in the pocket and picking you apart.  Death by a thousand cuts!  A dinking and dunking pass attack also tires out the defensive line and makes the ground game more effective in the 4th quarter. 

♦ Brady is probably one of the best quick screen throwers in the league.  The Bills defensive backs need to set him up by playing off the WR’s and then immediately upon the snap coming up fast.  If it’s not a quick screen then they need a good bump on the receiver and have the safeties cover over the top (2 Deep Zone). 

♦ Randy Moss hates to get hit.  The first time he runs a shallow slant route the outside LB on that side needs to smash his skinny ass (within the 5 yard limit) and take a piece of his heart out.  He’ll start to think twice before he comes in there again.

♦ We have our own Ronnie Brown (Miami) right here in Buffalo. I would love to see Jauron utilize Freddy Jackson in the wildcat formation. They can catch N.E. off-guard by keeping Trent in the game and spreading him out as a wide receiver.

♦ Set up Terrell Owens and Roscoe Parrish in a slot formation on the same side and throw quick screens to Roscoe.  Believe it or not T.O. is a pretty good blocker when he puts his mind to it. You have to learn from other teams in this league.  Pittsburgh ran a similar play with a lot a success against Tennessee in the first game of the year this past Thursday.

♦ Only go to the no-huddle after a getting a few first downs during a series, or after a big play.  Defenses can be caught off guard after a big play because they’re still thinking about the previous snap.

♦ Don’t be afraid to run the reverse.  It’s a sure-fire way to keep a defense honest and prevent them from pursuing hard down the line and making tackles from the backside.  Even if you don’t run it, at least fake it. Either way it will slow down N.E.’s backside pursuit.

Jauron needs to throw a tantrum on the sidelines the very first time the refs make a call he doesn’t like. I’m talking a full blown conniption where he is screaming at the top of his lungs and in the face of the official; spitting and yelling profanities in the process.  As a player I always got pumped up when I saw Chuck fighting for us. Just once I need to see Dick get fired up and bust some balls on the sideline 

I hope Dick Jauron astonishes us all and does a few things imaginative and out-of-character. Even if they don’t win, I would still like to say—  I didn’t know Dick.      

(Jeff Nixon is a columnist for Buffalo Sports Daily. He is a former Buffalo Bill (1979-84) and today is the host of the “Jeff Nixon Sports Report, airing on Monday nights)

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4 Comments on I Don’t Know Dick

  1. Tony

    Why isn’t Jeff Nixon coaching this team? All those things he mentions seem to be out of Dicks grasp. There is absolutely no reason why we can’t do the things we need to do to be competitive in this game, or any other for that matter, besides the coaches coaching better, calling the right plays and formations and putting this team in a position to do its best. I agree with Mr. Nixon, but I don’t even think that Dick knows Dick, and that’s why we’ll be lucky this season to see 7-9 again.

  2. Mick

    Awesome article, Jeff. I am hoping to see some pride restored to the franchise tonight.

  3. Patrick Moran

    Good post.

  4. Paul

    Great post, Jeff. I would be behind you if you wanted to coach this team…and if Dick doesn’t do it this year, who would be your choice for a replacement?

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