10 biggest What Ifs in Jacksonville Jaguars history

As the 2023 regular season draws nigh, a look back at the franchise's story up to now may give some insight as to what to expect moving forward.
Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp
Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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No. 8 biggest "What If" in Jaguars history: Firing Tom Coughlin the first time

Tom Coughlin should not have been fired by Wayne Weaver at the end of the 2002 season. That's easy to claim with the benefit of hindsight. However, at the time, the fanbase was in open revolt against the franchise.

Coughlin's early success is undeniable, having gone to the playoffs four times culminating in a 14-2 season and AFC Championship game in 1999. Arguably spoiled by such early success, the Jacksonville faithful were furious with Coughlin's subsequent record of 19-29 and three straight losing seasons. Fans were boycotting games, and those that attended were booing.

Of course, all Jaguars fans know Coughlin went on to take the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories, leaving many Jaguars fans feeling like those trophies belonged in North Florida.

Well, maybe. It's hard to say what would have happened if Coughlin had been retained in Jacksonville. Perhaps he learned some lessons from his dismissal in Duval. Perhaps those lessons, left unlearned, would have prevented Coughlin from reaching the same success in Jacksonville as he found in New York.

Or, it could have gone the other way. Perhaps Coughlin sees the writing on the wall and starts the rebuild in Jacksonville sooner. Perhaps he takes Terrell Suggs instead of Byron Leftwich. It's hard to say. But, given how the franchise was in steady decline after his departure, it's hard to imagine a two-time Super Bowl champion coach couldn't have done better.