Letís be honest, this season isnít salvageable, so the Bills should plunge themselves into a full-fledged, rebuilding mode. Besides jettisoning Dick Jauron, I would also find competent football personnel people to replace the underachieving Tom Modrak and John Guy. Of course, you first must hire a coach with a track record of success and allow him to bring in his people to run the scouting department. So, luring that new coach needs to be priority No. 1.
The other thing I would do is immediately begin stockpiling draft picks. Hey, if you arenít going to use Terrell Owens, you might as well cut your losses and attempt to get something for him while you can. Unfortunately, Owensí age (35) and declining production (heís on pace to make 38 receptions for 740 yards and 3 TDs) means you probably arenít going to get more than a mid-round pick for him.
Iíd also look at dealing Roscoe Parrish. Heís no longer the dangerous punt returner he once was, having fumbled away two returns in recent weeks. At best, youíre probably looking at a later-round pick for him.
I know this doesnít make the painful present any easier to stomach, but while researching and writing my fifth book relating to Buffalo Bills history, Iím reminded that this isnít the franchiseís low point. That occurred from 1967-71 when the Bills went 13-55-2 and suffered two one-win seasons, and five 10-loss seasons in five years. That said, a case can be made that the 2000s have been the worst decade in the Billsí half-century history. Buffalo has had only one winning campaign this decade and ZERO playoff appearances. (The Home Run Throwback loss in Tennessee on Jan. 8, 2000 was part of the 1999 season.)
There are rumors that Notre Dame will heavily court Jon Gruden should the Irish lose to the University of Southern California this Saturday. Though the Irish are off to a 4-1 start under Charlie Weis, they have lost six straight games to Top 10 teams and have been humiliated by the Trojans the past two seasons by a combined 76-3 score.
Itís not certain though if Gruden wants to go the college route, return to the NFL sidelines or stay in the ESPN Monday Night Football booth, where heís doing a bang-up job as an analyst. Grudenís one of the guys Iíd love to see running the Bills, but other struggling NFL teams also covet him, including the Washington Redskins.
Although Skins owner Daniel Snyder can throw ridiculous money at Gruden, some coaches believe that Washington has become a coaching graveyard because Snyder is a control freak who loves to mettle.
The fact there are so many bad teams in the NFL right now should heighten the sense of urgency Ralph Wilson feels. The courtship of the next coach needs to begin now.
A nationally recognized sports columnist and best-selling author, Scott Pitoniak is pursuing new challenges after 35 years in the newspaper business. He hopes one day to write the great American novel and hit a baseball over the wall at Yankee Stadium. In the meantime, he runs his own website Ė ScottPitoniak.com Ė and blogs about sports and lifeís other adventures.
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