A few weeks ago it was floated that the Jacksonville Jaguars could be interested in bringing back former head coach Tom Coughlin when Gus Bradley is seemingly inevitably fired at the end of the 2016 season. There wasn’t really anything concrete to the idea and Coughlin hadn’t spoken publicly to the effect that would lead you to believe he’s ready to get back into coaching, but that changed on Monday Night. Prior to the game on Monday Night Football, Coughlin indicated that his “Doppler” was back up. He was asked directly by Matt Hasslebeck if he would be interested in coming back and he said he wouldn’t say yes and he wouldn’t say no.
Translation: Yes, I’m ready to come back if the situation is right.
A lot of Jaguars fans want to bring Coughlin back, which I completely understand, but when you have to ask yourself if it logically makes sense, or if it’s just chasing dragons. Coughlin was a huge success as the Jaguars first head coach, building up the front office and the team from scratch. He did everything and was wildly successful for a number of seasons. His message wore thin and then cap trouble ended up leading to his firing, but he left on good terms and it was bittersweet.
Coughlin, 71, doesn’t really have a lot of years left as a head coach, so you have to ask yourself would Jacksonville even be a good situation for him, or one that he would want to come to? Currently the Jaguars have a lot of issues that need to be worked out and need to go through another rebuild (though, not nearly as extensive as in 2013). Is that what Coughlin wants to do in the twilight of his NFL coaching years? It’s possible there could be NFL jobs open with the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens or even Cincinnati Bengals. Is Jacksonville any more attractive than those possible openings?
Not only do you have to consider if Coughlin would want to build the Jaguars, again, would he want to risk tarnishing his legacy? Coughlin is revered in Jacksonville for what he did with the franchise when it was in its infancy. Does he want to risk ruining that if he comes back and it doesn’t work? I mentioned before he could be chasing dragons, as he swung and miss at a Super Bowl in Jacksonville, but is it worth the risk of his legacy to come back and try again, especially considering his potential career remaining timeframe?
I’m open to the idea of Coughlin coming back as head coach, but I guess indifferent would be more of a descriptive term. Sure, why not I guess? Personally though, I think Coughlin would be better served as someone like the President of Football Operations. Shad Khan went the first time head coach and first time general manager his first hiring process and it appears to be an abject failure. He needs someone who’s been there before the second time to assist him in the process. Let Coughlin hire the head coach and the new general manager. Let him hold a role in the front office on the football side like what Mark Lamping does on the business side of things. Khan doesn’t want to meddle, so hiring someone to handle the football duties who knows football.