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Archive for Thursday, December 25, 2003

Vermeil can relate to Jauron’s situation in Chicago

December 25, 2003

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— When people question Chicago coach Dick Jauron about his offensive coordinator, Dick Vermeil feels a special kinship.

Jauron's own job status has been the subject of widespread speculation while he defends coordinator John Shoop.

While Vermeil has the Chiefs (12-3) already in the playoffs as AFC West champs and is in no danger of being fired himself, he's been deflecting shots aimed at defensive coordinator Greg Robinson for almost two years.

As the stats get worse, so does the heat on Vermeil to make a change.

"It depends on where the heat's coming from," Vermeil said.

"If it's from the media, you don't listen. If I vacillated week in and week out based on what everybody else does for a living in regard to the media world, you would never have a stable organization. And that doesn't mean I don't respect what they have to do. I worked in the media for 14 years."

Robinson joined the Chiefs as defensive coordinator when Vermeil took the job as head coach two years ago. He first came under fire last year when the defense finished 32nd overall in the league.

During a 9-0 start this year, fans all declared that the problems were fixed. But the Chiefs have lost three of their last four road games and been blown out in their last two, including a 45-20 loss last week at Minnesota.

"(Reporters) don't know what they don't know," Vermeil said.

"But a person in charge has to know what he knows. I know people who are influenced by media in leadership roles. And it kills them. It eats them up. You can't please everybody. In fact, the only people you have to please are your ownership, your management and your football players."

Jauron, ironically, received a contract extension after being named coach of the year in 2001.

"Dick Jauron has been in the league a long time as a player and a coach," Vermeil said. "He's got that football team now playing at a level where a playoff team plays."

The Bears lost five of their first six, but will try to beat the Chiefs and close the season on a 5-1 run. Rookie Rex Grossman will be starting his third game, and first on the road.

"He's got a new quarterback now who's started two games and played well. There's a real future there," Vermeil said. "They've got a lot of things going well for them right now. Dick Jauron is too mature to listen to outside pressures.

"Now, that doesn't mean the management is. Some of these guys in management, they listen to everything. They listen to radio talk shows, they read every article. That's why they're fouled up."

And so, Vermeil was asked, is Greg Robinson's job in jeopardy?

"No," he said. "It's not."

In the meantime, the question lingered all week about what approach the Chiefs should take toward the Bears if New England beats Buffalo Saturday and clinches home-field throughout the playoffs. Should they go full bore and try to regain some momentum going into the postseason?

Or should they rest their regulars as much as possible once Priest Holmes gets the two touchdowns he needs to smash records now held by Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk?

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