DANA POINT, Calif. — Growing up in Swampscott, Mass., Dick Jauron was a fan of the Boston Patriots of the American Football League. The team’s logo, with “Pat Patriot” snapping a football, was the symbol of an allegiance upon which Jauron reflects with great fondness to this day.
Now the coach of another original AFL team, the Buffalo Bills, the 58-year-old Jauron was especially excited to be part of a photo opportunity after this morning’s AFC media-coaches breakfast that took him back to his youth. Jauron and six other AFC coaches, along with current Patriots owner Robert Kraft, posed with the throwback helmets and jerseys of the eight teams that in 1960 comprised the AFL, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its formation.
“I grew up north of Boston, so I was an AFL guy,” said Jauron, whose team will travel to New England for the Monday Night Football regular-season opener on Sept. 14 as part of the anniversary celebration. “The Patriots’ helmet, the throwback helmet, is such a great memory for me. And I was very familiar with the Buffalo Bills because they were so good and (the Bills and Patriots) played great games back and forth.”
Kraft took the place of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who isn’t attending the meetings. Standing on the podium, Kraft, joking that he wanted to play the Belichick role to the fullest, said to Patriots public relations director Stacey James, “Do you have the gray hood for me to wear?”
There was a big laugh during the session when Denver coach Josh McDaniels turned around the Broncos throwback jersey he was holding to reveal the name on the back: CUTLER.
— Vic Carucci