The media alert came at about 9:30 Monday morning, and right away the immediate thought is that reporters were being summoned to One Bills Drive for a press conference where it would be announced that head coach Dick Jauron had been fired.
Instead, it was only a reminder that Jauron would -- as he always does on Monday -- speak to the media, update injuries of which there always seems to be plenty with his brittle team, and then offer absolutely no insight into why his team is playing so poorly.
Just another Monday in Bills Nation, home to a team that has now lost back-to-back games to winless teams, the latest a 6-3 debacle in front of a sellout crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium where the fans started booing early, and ultimately booed often.
In the locker room after the game, chief operating officer Russ Brandon, formerly a young, vibrant-looking 40-something who seems to be aging right before our eyes, had no comment on Jauron's status, and no answers for how his team will get better.
"Obviously this is a low point for all of us," said Brandon, who said almost the exact same thing the week before when the Bills could not have been more listless in a 38-10 loss at Miami. "I feel for everyone in the organization and more importantly the fans. This is not where we expected to be right now. It's frustrating. We worked our tails off in the offseason to put us in position that should be better than where we are right now. We certainly understand the frustration of our fans."
No, Brandon and team owner Ralph Wilson clearly don't -- Jauron was in front of a group of reporters Monday. Everyone in the Bills' organization loves Jauron, and it's easy to understand why -- he's one of the nicest, easy-going men you'll ever meet.
But if a team takes on the attitude of its coach, that's not a good sign. The Bills have played consistently uninspired under Jauron.
The Bills added another chapter to their burgeoning history of losing games in inexplicable ways against Cleveland. This season alone they have added two more to said lore. In the opener at New England they blew a 24-13 lead in the final couple minutes as Leodis McKelvin's kickoff return fumble led to the Patriots' winning TD. Sunday, the Bills lost 6-3 when Roscoe Parrish muffed a bouncing punt he shouldn't have tried to field at his own 16 and the Browns recovered with 2:59 to play, setting the stage for Billy Cundiff's field goal with 23 seconds left.
The Bills lost a game to a team that was on a 10-game losing streak, though that shouldn't have been much of a surprise because the last time the Browns had won was Nov. 17, 2008, in Buffalo. The Bills lost to a team that had scored three offensive touchdowns during that 10-game losing streak. And the last time the Browns scored an offensive TD on the road? Yep, that game last year in Buffalo.
The Browns' Derek Anderson completed only two passes all day, tying a Bills' defensive record. The difference is the Bills won the other two such games, against Cincinnati in 1969 and the Jets in 1974. Cleveland managed just nine first downs (fewest allowed by the Bills since 2004 when the Browns had only six in a 37-7 loss to Buffalo) and 193 yards (fewest since Houston had 120 in the 2005 season opener) and still beat Brandon's bumbling Bills.
Jauron said he would not discuss his job status because it's not a question he should be asked. Wilson wasn't asked the question because he wasn't taking questions on Sunday after the game. So the Bills go on, 1-4, last place in the AFC East, losers of eight in a row in division games with a trip to the Meadowlands next week.
You'd think time is running out on Jauron. But, really, who knows at this point?