From Buffalo Bills Coach, Dick Jauron:
And Jauron isn’t putting on blinders either, but insisted he’d rather decide on his own whether Owens deserves a bad rap.
“I’m not trying to cover anything up,” Jauron said. “But if you think that emotional outbursts don’t occur on every sideline every Sunday, you’re sadly mistaken. … To the degree he’s had them? Maybe. Do they get the publicity that he gets? No.”
What Dick Jauron didn’t say was that he and former 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci have been friends for decades and that Owens once accused Mariucci of costing the 49ers a win because his conservative play-calling on offense was designed to protect Jauron. In the game in question, the 49ers blew a 19-point lead.
When did all of this go down? 2001, October 28. Week 7.
The 4-1 Niners were on the road in Chicago against the 4-2 Bears. Zack Bronson had just returned a 97 yard interception return to put the Jeff Garcia-led visitors up 28-9. Then the wheels fell off. The Bears mounted a furious comeback by scoring four touchdowns including a two-point conversion and beat the Niners 37-31. The Bears finished the season at 13-3. The 49ers finished at 12-4. The Niners went on to lose a Wildcard game at Green Bay, 25-15. Owens? A pedestrian 4 catches for 40 yards.
Extra Credit Trivia: First QB to win on the road in Green Bay?