If Jacksonville Jaguars fans thought the nostalgia of the glory days ended with the return of Tom Coughlin, they thought wrong. Former legendary wide receiver Keenan McCardell returns to round out the coaching staff.
There are few players as prominent in the early Jacksonville Jaguars days than Keenan McCardell. The “Thunder” in “Thunder and Lightning,” McCardell combined with Jimmy Smith to be one of the best receiving duos in the NFL during the mid to late 1990s.
A player who could do it all, McCardell’s time with the Jags led to 499 receptions, 6393 yards, and 30 touchdowns over six seasons. He ultimately played for five teams over 17 years but his time with the Jags was his longest and he will always be fondly remembered for his impressive run with Smith and quarterback Mark Brunell from 1996 to 2001.
Now McCardell returns to coach the wider receiving corps for a next-most successful Jaguars receivers: Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Marqise Lee, among others. Naturally Coughlin expressed good will toward his new coach and former player, but it was also important to see new head coach Doug Marrone quickly get on board, saying ““With 17 years of playing experience and more than four years of coaching, Keenan’s attention to detail and intensity will be instrumental in the progression of our wide receivers.”
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Bringing back McCardell plays into the new culture of winning from Coughlin on down. The Jags aren’t worried about getting better, they’re worried about winning. McCardell reinforces that by joining the team he helped lead to so many victories during his tenure with the Jags.
The hype surrounding some of the Jags moves is continuing. They may not be universally popular (see: THE JAGUARS “HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THEY’RE DOING”) but they are helping to build support for the team again. Jags fans can see the changes and easily buy in because it is both a return to a culture and structure that succeeded before and also because it a departure from the past.
McCardell’s addition continues to build that movement.