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Jauron expects no control problems with Levy in charge

Dick Jauron is feeling a lot more secure with his job and his boss in Buffalo than he did in Chicago.

The proof is in his contract to be the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Jauron confirmed he has nothing in his contract about having control of the 53-man roster. He expects to have as much control of it as he wants, but he also expects to work closely with General Manager Marv Levy on all football decisions.

"I didn't specify anything about the roster [in the contract]," Jauron said. "I didn't feel like it was necessary."

Why is this significant? Because it was a big deal when Jauron coached the Chicago Bears.

When Jauron got the Bears job in 1999, he had it written into his contract that he had control of the 53-man roster. But when the Bears hired Jerry Angelo to be general manager two years later, Angelo had it written into his deal that he had control of the roster. So they both had it in their contracts.

And it became a point of contention, particularly when Angelo made some build-for-the-future moves such as getting rid of nose tackle Ted Washington, who went on to help New England win the Super Bowl. Angelo, just like every other GM who ever has been hired in the NFL, wanted to bring in his own man to be the coach. He was not in Jauron's corner from the start.

Jauron is in a lot more secure position from the start in Buffalo.

"I foresee the relationship with Marv working great," Jauron said. "Obviously, we have to be realistic. We've been together for a week. The beginning of most relationships is great. We're just going to keep working at it. But he's such a solid person, and he's experienced the ups and downs of the game. He has a real good perspective from the coaching side. And as we know he's a very bright man and he's a diligent worker.

"The personnel part of it or organizational parts that he hasn't been involved in, he will focus on those and he'll learn them and he'll develop his own style like everybody does."


Mary Wilson No. 1

Mary Wilson, the first lady of the Bills, finished the 2005 senior tennis season ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 3 in the world in the 60-and-over category.

Wilson, 60, won the 60-and-over U.S. Tennis Association Indoor Championships in August and the USTA Grass Court Championships in July. She beat Germany's Heide Orth in the semifinals en route to the grass title. Orth finished No. 1 in the International Tennis Federation ranking of 60-and-over players, two spots ahead of Wilson.

Wilson lost to Orth in the semifinals of the European Championships and also reached the finals of the Austrian championship. Wilson also went 4-1 in singles matches while representing the United States at the Maureen Connolly Cup, an international team event, in Australia.


Kids 'R Us

The Bills and the New York Jets now are officially at opposite ends of the experience spectrum in the NFL. If you combine the ages of the Jets' new head coach and general manager, they're still younger than Levy.

The Jets asserted their adoration of all things Patriot-related last week when they announced General Manager Terry Bradway was being demoted to "consultant" and Mike Tannenbaum, their assistant general manager, was taking over Bradway's job. It wasn't a total shock. Tannenbaum and new coach Eric Mangini are joined at the hip. It was clear when Mangini got the job that Bradway was the third wheel in the Jets' football department.

Tannenbaum turns 37 next week and Mangini turned 35 last month. The Jets' new offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, is 32.

The worrisome thing for the Jets is none of them has ever done their current jobs before. Mangini was a coordinator for only one year in New England before getting his new gig. Tannenbaum was Bradway's assistant for five years.

Tannenbaum was brought to New York by Bill Parcells and came up with the contract offer for Curtis Martin that included the "poison pill" that New England could not match. He was strictly a salary cap expert during Parcells' tenure. In recent years he has spent much more time studying film and sitting in on coaches meetings. But he never played the game, never coached and never made a unilateral personnel decision. Now he must prove he's more than a cap expert and that he can evaluate talent.

That's a great leap of faith by Jets owner Woody Johnson.

The consensus in New York is Tannenbaum has small shoes to fill. The core of a Jets team that made the playoffs three of the last five years was built by Parcells. Bradway took a lot of heat for trading a first-round pick to Oakland for tight end Doug Jolley when he could have kept it and drafted Heath Miller. He also got outflanked in letting Herman Edwards leave for Kansas City for only a fourth-round draft choice.


Madden power

John Madden is arguably more famous for having his own game than for being a broadcaster these days. He might just be rich enough to have his own team, too. The scuttlebutt around the league is that Madden gets $2 for every one of his EA Sports Madden video games that are sold. Sales of the game are approaching 50 million. Madden just completed a $5 million-a-year contract with ABC and signed a six-year deal, with a pay raise, to join NBC. He also has lucrative sponsorship deals with Ace Hardware and Outback Steakhouse. His earnings have been estimated at roughly $40 million a year.

Madden was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame last week on his second chance as a finalist. The first time he made the final 15 in the voting was 1985. Back then, the reputation of Al Davis greatly overshadowed that of Madden, and voters gave a lot of credit for Madden's success to Davis. He did not get elected that year. Madden has the highest winning percentage -- .759 -- of any coach in NFL history in the regular season. In the 27 years since Madden retired, the Raiders' winning percentage is .533.


Onside kicks

Best line of Super Bowl week was from Florida Times-Union veteran reporter Vito Stellino, who reacted to the recent announcement of massive layoffs by Ford Motor Co. by saying: "How is it that Bill Ford announced he was laying off 30,000 people and not one of them is [Lions President] Matt Millen?"

The Bills are expected to name Charlie Coiner their new tight ends coach. Coiner, 45, was assistant special teams coach of the Chicago Bears the past two years. He was hired by Jauron in Chicago in 2001 as the Bears' offensive quality control coach and spent three years in that role.

The NFL used a new ball on every play of the first half of the Super Bowl, and then rotated 12 new balls throughout the second half of the game. It's something the league has done for several Super Bowls. Some balls are donated to charity auctions, some are set aside for players, coaches and officials.

The one from the opening kickoff goes to the Hall of Fame. Roughly 120 balls are used in the game, and all are marked with synthetic DNA to deter potential counterfeiters who may try to sell phony "game used" Super Bowl balls. When the DNA is exposed to a certain laser, it glows bright green.


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