The Jacksonville Jaguars have to commit to Tom Coughlin’s cause if they want to rebound and win in 2017.
“Welcome to Tom Coughlin’s world! Please show up to appointments more than fifteen minutes early, otherwise you will be considered tardy.” It’s a new day in Duval, and it looks a lot like a flashback.
The NFL offseason, especially at this stage, doesn’t provide much in the way of headlines, but this is where teams are made. From the rookie mini-camps all the way through training camp, it’s all about perfecting technique and learning the playbook, unless you’re New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg, where you’re just hoping not to peg reporters with errant passes (Credit to Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media and Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report for the gem).
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t had any major issues so far, but there has been one notable absence: newly acquired left tackle Branden Albert. Conor Orr of NFL.com reported that Albert had advised Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone that he will attend mandatory minicamp, but that means very little to me. Every drill, every snap, every film session is critical for him to get acclimated with the team. His holdout, albeit brief, is helping no one.
The language of the NFL states that organized team activities, OTAs for short, are voluntary. However, they are expected to be present and working towards becoming part of a cohesive unit. For a new acquisition like Albert, his absence is inexcusable. I don’t care if he wants a new contract, he needs to be here. I can imagine that Coughlin was not pleased by his absence.
Albert can make up for it only by playing at an elite level this season, otherwise it’s the perfect time to say goodbye to both him and his contract demands. Considering the Jaguars just drafted a tackle in Cam Robinson, it’s not like Albert has a ton of leverage in this dispute.
Somewhere in the depths of the Jaguars’ facilities, Coughlin has to be furious. The legendary coach of both the Jaguars and the New York Giants is back in the game, and his authority will not be questioned. He knows how champions are built, and this is an unnecessary distraction. Granted, Albert has every right to want a new deal, but without ever taking a snap with his new team, he is still very much in the “show me” stage.
The ball is in Albert’s court. Does he want to help make the Jacksonville Jaguars a championship contender? If so, then he needs to be here. If he doesn’t, then I hope Coughlin and General Manager David Caldwell promptly show him the door.