Three years ago, the Buffalo Bills gave Dick Jauron another NFL coaching position. Most Bears fans were mystified by this development.
Now, three years later, the Bills have fired Jauron in the midst of yet another losing season. Reportedly, Jauron was surprised by this decision; he didn't see it coming.
Bears fans did.
There was always something slightly mysterious about the Bills' decision to hire a retread coach with one winning season in his NFL coaching career. That was 2001, the year the Bears went 13-3 thanks a historically good defense, and a few lucky bounces along the way (Mike Brown knows what we're talking about). After playing themselves into a bye, that Bears team lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.
Jauron was named Coach of the Year in 2001, but as the NBA's taught us, Coach of the Year doesn't mean a whole lot unless the success lasts for more than one season. For Jauron, it didn't. His Bears teams before 2001 were ugly, and his teams after ranged from bad (4-12 in 2002) to just mediocre (7-9 in 2003).
And it wasn't just the mediocrity.
In many ways, Jauron seemed clueless about what works and what doesn't in the modern NFL. His offensive coordinator of choice was John Shoop, who favored constant screen plays and short outs and power running plays, the kind of stuff that doesn't work against NFL defenses anymore. NFL teams have to stretch the field; Jauron never seemed to notice.
Jauron was always marked for NFL failure. The Bills' decision to sign him in 2006 was as uninspired and boring as head coaching hires get. Not only that, it was lazy; had the Bills looked just a little bit closer at Jauron's time with the Bears, they would have found plenty to repel them.
Instead? Ha! We told you so, Buffalo.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. He is the editor of Yahoo! Sports's college basketball blog The Dagger and a contributor to Inside The Hall. Follow him at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com, or on Twitter.