In a dramatic mid-week decision Bills owner Ralph Wilson relieved head coach Dick Jauron of his coaching duties Tuesday.
“I am announcing today that I am relieving Dick Jauron from his duties as our head coach, effective immediately," said Wilson in a team 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.”
This is the first time that the Bills owner has fired a head coach during a regular season since Hank Bullough’s termination, which also came after nine games in the 1986 season.
There is no word yet from the organization as to who will serve as interim head coach for the remaining seven games.
Jauron’s job security was believed to be tenuous ever since the team’s 1-4 start this season. The embattled coach led the Bills to three consecutive 7-9 seasons before this season’s 3-6 record through the first nine games.
Struggles on the offensive side of the ball plagued Jauron’s tenure in Buffalo. None of Jauron’s teams ever had an offensive ranking higher than 25th in his time as Bills head coach. Buffalo finished 30th, 30th, 25th and has a current ranking of 29th through nine games played this season. He had three different offensive coordinators in his three-plus seasons as head coach.
Defending the run was also a stumbling block under Jauron’s leadership. The Bills never ranked higher than 22nd in the league against the run and are currently last in the NFL in that category this season.