A View from Calico Jack’s – 11/8/2007

Four wins in five games. And it should be five in a row (I promise that’s the last time I’ll look back in anger at that game…until next time).

Not bad.

A lot of people are getting credit: Marshawn Lynch finally broke a big run, and exceeded 100 yards. JP Losman’s “comeback” is on stride for now. Lee Evans has returned from semi-retirement. The defense is gelling nicely on all fronts.

But there’s one guy I don’t hear much about.

Dick Jauron.

Coaches, as is often said, get too much credit and too much blame – except for offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild, who can’t possibly get too much blame. Certainly, Jauron has gotten his fair share of criticism. But, you know what? When an NFL team wins four out of five games in the midst of an onslaught of injuries (one of them tragic) and a heartbreaking loss for the ages, then the head coach must be doing something right. He deserves some credit.

Tough games lie ahead, but to this point, Jauron has really pulled the team together impressively in an almost Levyesque manner. He doesn’t turn red in the face. He doesn’t resort to give-them-hell pep talks, as far as I can tell. But, in his own candid and confident way, he has prevented this team from falling apart when many of us thought we were already on the draft clock. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King recently wrote that the Bills are doing more with less than any team in the NFL. That’s high praise. So is this comment, also from Peter King, which I actually inserted AFTER writing my original column because I just came across it:

“Coach of the year, to me, is no contest right now. For the Bills to be 4-4 after their defense has been shredded by injury (and it wasn’t a great defense to begin with) and to come back after the most devastating loss of the 2007 season (the debacle against Dallas) tells me one thing about the common-sense, flat-line Dick Jauron: If I owned a team, I’d want him to coach it.”

But, can we keep it going against the Fish? Talk about a trap game, with the unexpected Sunday nighter against the undefeated Pats the following week.

I believe the Fish will win at least one game this year. If the Bills are on their game, it won’t be against Buffalo. But, if the Bills look ahead…a divisional game is always trouble.

As for the Pats – it’ll be nice for the entire nation to be rooting for Buffalo, because I’m sure pretty much everyone outside of New England will be doing just that. Even Don Shula will be rooting for the Bills that night.