Can Tom Coughlin right the Jaguars sinking ship?
By Kathy Clark
Can Tom Coughlin, the man Jaguars team owner Shad Khan brought in to change the dynamics of his fledgeling franchise, fix the problems that exist with the football team?
The Jacksonville Jaguars dysfunction is out in the open for everyone to see. Daily stories by local and national media describe many situations that were off limits during the season. Where do the Jaguars go from here?
"On December 30, as reported by Michael DiRocco of ESPN, Shad Khan announced immediately after the final game that Executive Vice-President Tom Coughlin, general manager David Caldwell, and head coach Doug Marrone would return for the 2019 season."
This announcement provoked a firestorm of anger and criticism from fans.
However, the good news is that he has put the final responsibility on the shoulders of Coughlin. The public now has someone to hold accountable.
The typical reaction to failure is to fire the people at the top. The Jaguars decided to keep the top management and fire assistant coaches. They also appear to be scapegoating specific players. mainly Leonard Fournette.
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Fournette has certainly been a problem child but is this mess the fault of one immature running back? Time will tell.
Coughlin coached the expansion Jaguars successfully. He moved on to the Giants and won two Super Bowls. He was let go by the Giants after four losing seasons. At that time he announced that it was his decision but the Giants later clarified that they planned to let him go. This raises the question that perhaps the NFL has passed him by and his old school philosophy no longer works with the modern players. ( I can say this because I am a member of his generation.)
Caldwell has been the general manager for six years. His first round disasters – Luke Joeckel, Blake Bortles, and Dante Fowler – are well documented. Joeckel is a total bust. Bortles has been a starter for five years and Fowler was a great pass rusher when healthy so perhaps the jury is still out.
Caldwell has had some successes as well. Allen Robinson, Telvin Smith, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dede Westbrook are good finds. Of course, Jalen Ramsey was his pick as well.
The biggest complaint was the draft of Taven Bryan (the Gator no one ever heard of) in 2018 when we needed offensive players. He has been blamed for the poor play of Bortles. Fair or not he takes a lot of heat from the Jacksonville media and fan base.
"Marrone probably deserves blame for the poor play calling on offense and defense and the dysfunctional locker room. According to DiRocco. via his Twitter account from Dec. 31, “Marrone will evaluate how much leeway/ benefit of the doubt he gives players and how he got his message across. He said “I won’t make that damn mistake again.”"
Only time will give us the answers. Is Coughlin able to lead a team in the modern era or has time passes him by? Can Caldwell repeat his 2017 success, or will he repeat his 2018 mediocre draft and free agent acquisitions? Finally, will Marrone take control of the locker room and the play selection? Stay tuned…