Leonard Fournette could end up in a Jacksonville Jaguars uniform following the 2017 NFL Draft, but will it be the right fit?
Albert Breer raised an interesting question this week about whether Leonard Fournette has the right passion for football. Specifically:
"One question that’s faced LSU RB Leonard Fournette concerns his passion for football. And there’s a widespread feeling he’s driven by stardom. My guess is Jacksonville’s Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone would address that quickly."
Being driven by stardom may not be the best label to hang around a young prospect’s neck, but it also isn’t the worst. Players find motivation in numerous ways, ranging from constantly needing to prove themselves (a chip on his shoulder) to living up to their fathers’ legacies to simply needing to pay the bills. Some fall short of their goals, some never even come close, and some achieve. Stardom, like any other motivation, gets different mileage depending on the player.
In that regard, the question raised by Breer is not particularly a concern. Channeling that motivation for stardom in the right way is as important as simply having the drive. Coaches are tasked with that duty.
To that end, there may be no better duo to help channel that motivation than executive vice president for football operations Tom Coughlin and head coach Doug Marrone. Coughlin has helped mold players into achieving the stardom they desire while still remaining stern and demanding excellence on and off the field. Marrone, like Coughlin, takes a similar, disciplined approach.
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In a situation with personalities like Coughlin and Marrone, the desire for stardom could be nurtured and molded to greatness. Both would likely “address [the desire for stardom] quickly” but would likely help channel it into productive gains for the running back.
This, of course, is an exercise in speculation. Nobody knows how good Leonard Fournette will be as a professional and nobody knows how well Coughlin and Marrone, as a tandem, will shape their young players. But after watching the complete culture change in Jacksonville in just a few months, it seems clear the Jags may be a home where they can take players like Fournette who are motivated by stardom and help them become the best versions of themselves and, ultimately, become stars.