I always chuckle when NFL players and coaches address criticism from fans and the media by saying, “It’s easy for you to say, but you couldn’t do a better job.”
In the case of players, it’s usually a true statement. That coming from coaches, however, doesn’t always hold water.
I could coach the Buffalo Bills better than head coach Dick Jauron.
That begs the question, “If that’s true, why aren’t you the coach?” to which I respond, “I really don’t want to be.”
It may sound crazy – even like an excuse to some – but it’s true. Being an NFL coach is not an aspiration of mine.
I still think I could do it better than Jauron.
“I thought there were times, obviously, where we moved the ball,” Jauron said after Sunday‘s 27-7 loss to the visiting New Orleans Saints. “We just couldn’t finish.”
Really, Jauron? Really?
Because with about 7:45 left in the fourth quarter, your team down by 10, I watched the Bills punt the football on 4th and 1. I shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was by this – you did the same thing just before the first half ended and again with 1:30 left in the game to go confirm everyone’s suspicion you’re not out to win.
I want to know if Jauron is talking to Trent Edwards during the games. If he is, he needs to stop – Edwards’ play reflects Jauron’s timidity. Edwards doesn’t play to win games, he plays not to lose. That’s how Jauron coaches.
Problem is, both have been unsuccessful at it.
It evokes an emotion for Bills fans many probably thought they’d never have, and one non-Bills fans wouldn’t understand: sympathy for Terrell Owens.
Here’s a man who had nothing to do with Sunday’s loss. Nothing to do with week 1’s loss to New England and, unfortunately, very little to do with last week’s win.
It’s tough to support a claim any of these scenarios have to do with Owens. The guy wants to be a bigger part of the offense, obviously. If you want to call him a greedy ball hog, go ahead – it would mean more offense for the Bills, whose top two wide receivers have combined for 186 yards on 13 catches.
These top two wide receivers – Owens and Lee Evans – are known as two of the league’s best. Both have fewer catches and receiving yards than a running back and tight end (who’s only played two games this season) on the team.
However, Edwards has obviously been trained to manage the offense – not lead it – and rarely throws a ball to a receiver who isn’t open. In fact, he never does. Call Trent Edwards the polar opposite of Brett Favre.
Where is Alex Van Pelt in all this? Supposedly, his experience as a backup to Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly made him a wonderful quarterbacks coach. But Jim Kelly trusted his receivers to make plays for balls he threw – they weren’t always open when he released the ball, but he believed they would be by the time it got to them.
Van Pelt should pass this advice onto Edwards. Actually, he should pound it down his throat through repetitions at practice.
Speaking of practice, did center Geoff Hangartner snap the ball this week? It seemed Trent had his hands full playing shortstop when he was in shotgun formation – those arrant snaps (which several times skipped off the turf to him) didn’t help his concentration on the play.
Every week, it seems there’s a new problem with the Bills. Jauron may have a point with his relentless talk of injuries (there have been a lot), but the real problems seem to start at practice with fundamentals. Penalties and turnovers will kill a team – and the Bills have had far more of those than injuries this season.
Here’s to hoping Marshawn Lynch’s return next week sparks something on this team that’s in pure disarray.