Perry Fewell didn't have a lot of time to say much after being named interim head coach of the Buffalo Bills Tuesday in the wake of Dick Jauron's release, but what he did say gave strong indication that he's ready to lead the team for the seven games remaining in the 2009 season.
"I think we'll be focused," said Fewell. "I think we'll go out and practice with a purpose. And our focus is Jacksonville. We're professionals and that's what we do and that's what we will do this week."
It was a roller coaster day for Fewell, who was buried in the process of game planning for the Jaguars Tuesday, before hearing the news of Jauron's termination as head coach. He admitted the day carried a wide range of emotions for him.
"I lost a head football coach who I've worked with the last three and a half, four years and that I've known for quite some time. And then I've been granted an opportunity to become the interim head coach of the Buffalo Bills. It's my first opportunity to be head coach in a football game on Sunday, so it's an opportunity of a lifetime. It's been up and down."
Fewell and the rest of the coaching staff was addressed in person by Dick Jauron, who returned to One Bills Drive to inform his assistants that he had been relieved of his coaching duties by owner Ralph Wilson after meeting with him in Detroit. Not long after Fewell spoke with Wilson.
"Mr. Wilson offered me the opportunity to become the interim head coach and I accepted that position," Fewell said.
"Perry has done a great job with our defense and has demonstrated excellent leadership skills as Defensive Coordinator," said Wilson in a team statement. "Our players and staff have a lot of confidence in him and that is important as we look forward to these next seven games."
Now in charge of all three phases of the football team Fewell indicated not much will change schematically on offense, knowing it's a difficult task to pull off in the middle of a season.
"We are who we are," said Fewell. "We have that identity. We're going to try to get a little spark, but we are who we are."
Fewell said he will announce the team's starting quarterback for Sunday's game on Wednesday.
For now he intends to continue calling the defensive plays and said if he can find the time this week he will solicit advice from head coaching colleagues in the league.
In describing his coaching philosophy Fewell was brief.
"Play like hell and win," he said.
As for his approach with his players, Fewell intends to keep things singularly focused on Sunday's game.
"We just need to have some success and get excited about what we're doing and just win a football game, just win one football game and then I think that will take care of itself," he said. "That's the best cure. Just win one football game, Jacksonville on Sunday."
When asked how his Bills team will be different from that of Dick Jauron, Fewell only made one promise.
"We'll be the Buffalo Bills," Fewell said. "We'll represent you well and be the Buffalo Bills."