Speaking for the first time since the conclusion of the 2008 season, Bills head coach Dick Jauron shared his thoughts on a campaign that looked so promising only to fall short of a playoff berth at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. While acknowledging the frustration fans felt from last season, Jauron also shed some light on how he and his staff intend to make good on last year's shortfalls in 2009.
"Like all of them we were clearly disappointed in the way our season ended after the way it started," he said. "We're working like heck to get us into a position where it doesn't happen, where we can sustain and play consistent football through the year and fight our way to a playoff spot. That's what we plan on doing and what we want to do and that's what they want us to do."
To his credit, Jauron took fault for some of the shortcomings that his team suffered last season and is determined to improve in those areas, while managing the ones that can't be avoided.
"Clearly I have to get them better prepared and make some better game time decisions," said Jauron. "We've got to make more plays on the field and we've got to stay healthy. When you lose critical people it affects you everywhere on your football team. It happens to every team, but we've got to handle it a little better."
Bills owner Ralph Wilson in announcing his retention of Jauron as head coach shortly after the conclusion of the season specifically mentioned offensive game management as an area that needed to improve. Jauron and his staff already have a plan in place to address it.
"Get more efficient in our procedures," said Jauron. "Certainly as a head coach and as a coaching staff we've got to get more efficient in terms of our communication. That can help us to some degree on the field, our communication has to improve too. Game time decisions, whenever they don't work they're the wrong decisions. You'd like to have them work and hopefully the ball will bounce our way a little more often."
Buffalo's head coach respects the opinion of the Bills' faithful, and understands there was a portion of the fan base that didn't react favorably when he was retained by owner Ralph Wilson. But that's why he and his staff are more determined than ever to make 2009 a successful season.
"I understand their feelings because I'm a fan and I certainly have teams that I root for and the Buffalo Bills are at the top of the list so when we don't win I'm not particularly happy either," said Jauron. "We have to win, that's our business. We plan on winning. I'm really excited to have another opportunity. I'm really excited about our team. I clearly love living in the Buffalo community and being a part of it. I'm glad to be back. That's how I feel. My job is to do a better job and to get us ready, to attract more talent, better prepare it, get us on the field and be a consistent winner."