Unless the Washington Federals improve dramatically in the second half of the season, owner Berl Bernhard will consider dismissing Coach Ray Jauch and General Manager Dick Myers, according to knowledgeable sources.
Because he does not want to disrupt the team's organization and preparation, Bernhard is reluctant to dismiss Myers or Jauch in the middle of the season, it has been learned.
"We have eight more games to play," Bernhard said. "Those in charge of the football program must and will receive my support. I cannot judge the future except by the past and by the present. But nothing is forever."
Bernhard would not say under what circumstances he would turn to another coach or general manager. He said, "What I want to see is fight and spark because I know the battle doesn't go ultimately to the strong alone, but to the determined. We will be determined. We will continue to do whatever is required to prevail. Right now that means support of our football leaders."
The Federals, whose 1-9 record is the worst in the USFL, will play the Invaders in Oakland next Monday night.
Both Myers and Jauch have guaranteed multiyear contracts.
Sources said Bernhard is displeased with Myers' recruitment efforts, especially in the earliest stages of the team's development, when general managers around the league were trying to establish cores of talent for their teams.
Because Myers had little success in building such a core before the team's Jacksonville training camp, the Federals have been trying desperately ever since to acquire talented players--an endeavor that has been partially successful but that has disrupted Jauch's efforts to build a cohesive, well-practiced team.
Of the reports that he may be dismissed after the season, Myers said, "I haven't heard that. If you're asking if I fear for my future, the answer is no. I have the full suport of the owner. We've been very open with each other."
Myers also said, "There's no question I'd like to have the squad we have now and go back to Jacksonville. I wasn't satisfied with the team after training camp either, but I think we've improved."
Myers called the 35-3 loss to Birmingham a bad one, but said he saw a lot of positive things in the 31-3 loss to the Blitz Sunday.
Ever since Bernhard expressed his anger and determination to reassess the team after the Birmingham game two weeks ago, Jauch has answered speculation about his future by saying he has no control over such matters and wants only to concentrate on preparing for the next game.